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Steidl Logo.jpg
FounderGerhard Steidl
Country of originGermany
Headquarters locationGöttingen
DistributionMohr Morawa (Austria)
AVA (Switzerland)
Distributed Art Publishers (US)
Interart, SODIS (France)
Thames & Hudson (UK)[1]
Publication typesBooks, Photobooks
ImprintsL.S.D. (with Karl Lagerfeld)

Steidl is a German-language publisher, an international publisher of photobooks, and a printing company, based in Göttingen, Germany.[2] It was started in 1968 by Gerhard Steidl and is still run by him.[3][4]


Gerhard Steidl

The company was started by Gerhard Steidl (b. 1950). Gerhard Steidl's impetus for a career in printing came when, as a teenager, one of his photographs was used in a poster advertising a production of Brecht's Mann ist Mann. The printing company did what the boy thought was a poor job; he suggested printing the sheet twice, the company agreed to do so in order to get rid of him, and his idea worked fairly well.[5]

The company's first book was Befragung der Documenta (1972).[5]

From 1974, [Gerhard] Steidl added political non-fiction to his program. In the early 1980s, he expanded into literature and selected art and photography books, and in 1989, he published his first paperback editions. [...] In 1996, Steidl finally decided to follow his passion for photography and to start his own internationally oriented photo book program.[6]

Gerhard Steidl still heads the company and is in charge of the production of every book. He endeavours to follow the preferences of the particular photographer for layout, paper, and binding, and insists on working with paper, because of the importance of the feel of the book and the difference between backlighting and reflected light. Printing, binding and all other work is done within a four-storey house on Düstere Strasse in Göttingen.[5]

The number of titles produced by Steidl is unusually large for an art publisher: about three hundred a year.[5]

Gerhard Steidl produces special editions, but prefers what he calls "'democratic books' or more 'prêt à porter' books", books that can freely be reprinted if the demand for them is sufficient.[5] Since 1993 up to his death Steidl has held the worldwide rights to the work of Nobel Prize Laureate Günter Grass.[7]

From 2009 to 2010, the Musée de l'Élysée (Lausanne) held an exhibition, The Fine Art and Craft of the Steidl Book, Lasting Impressions.[8][9]

Steidl was the topic of a 2010 documentary, How to Make a Book with Steidl.[10]


  1. ^ "Catalogs". Steidl Verlag. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  2. ^ Walker, David (13 August 2013). "Why Gerhard Steidl Is a Book Publishing Master". Photo District News. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  3. ^ Mead, Rebecca (15 May 2017). "The Man Making Books an Art Form". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2018-04-11 – via
  4. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-04-11. Cite uses generic title (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e Bill Kouwenhoven, "Off to see the wizard", British Journal of Photography, March 2010, pp. 68–71. Reproduced here as "Welcome to Steidlville". Accessed 8 January 2011.
  6. ^ "About Steidl, company history from the beginning". Steidl. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  7. ^ Steidl retrieved 4 May 2015
  8. ^ "Impressions en continu: Steidl l'art du livre", Musée de l'Élysée. (in French) Accessed 8 January 2011.
  9. ^ Daven Wu, "The fine art of the Steidl book", Wallpaper (magazine), 1 December 2009. Accessed 8 January 2011.
  10. ^ "How to Make a Book with Steidl"

External links[edit]