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Founded by the Italians Luca Bendandi and Matteo Cossu, SHS Publishing has a deceptively nondescript name, a roving area of operation, and almost microscopic print-runs. The small publishing house/collective of authors based in Berlin specializes in art, graphic design, typography, and architecture books and believes making small books for niche markets makes it more likely to get to the trends first.

Small means nimble for the publishers, who have a passion for ink on paper. "We don't believe in flooding bookshelves with a million copies. Isn't it better to print less and get them all on the right bookshelves, where they can be read, lived, and consumed?" writes Cossu.

The company has an eclectic catalog. One Gear is about fixed gear bikes, while Studiospace is concerned with architecture practices, office space, and work in general. GrAphorisms features 59 insights set in innovative typography. And Totem shows off the handcut shapes of PIRO, an Italian artist favoring motifs inspired by the iconography of ancient religions. Printing methods vary by publication. "Depending on the printrun we'll either use conventional offset or resort to a low-fi Duplo that we have in-house," Cossu explains. Totem was made on the Duplo 63s printer (a "poor cousin" to the Risograph, he says) and handbound.

ToTeM from Roberto López Mélinchon on Vimeo.

It might be young and small, but SHS hasn't wasted time. Last year, it organized "Fahrenheit 39" in Barcelona, a mini-festival celebrating independent print culture featuring workshops and live music.

With "Fahrenheit 39"-type events in mind, SHS has advice for other would-be small publishers: The work isn't done when the books come off the press. "Once finished, we always try to take the book by the hand and accompany it out, organizing events, building a community, and including our readers in the discussion generated by the publication." 

SHS Publishing