Fairies of the Faultlines



by Iris Compiet

Traditional Artist

In July 2017, one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for a book ended and Fairies of the Faultlines raised €111,019  from 1,738 backers. Iris Compiet, an artist from the Netherlands filled it with her own world of mystical beings of all shapes and sizes, and what stands out is not only the exceptionally executed artwork but especially the quality of the design, print, and binding. So, this review will not focus on her art but on the book itself. Even though we won't focus on them, we will show some examples to make clear how well the execution works together with the artwork.

Iris comes from a graphic design background so she was able to turn her vision of the 14 x 24 cm book into reality by choosing exactly the right fonts and materials. For the 168 full-color inside, she used a paper called Bio Top and bound it in cloth with a gold foil stamp on the front, the spine and on the back. The green color together with this traditional feeling of the font and gold combination makes the whole book seem like educational or historic material. The endleaves are printed and the book has a green ribbon, so you never lose the page you stopped reading at. The paper weight is at 160g and the whole book weighs 740g.


Fairies galore

This was my tier during the Kickstarter campaign, which included many goodies as you can see. Prints, postcards, stickers, an enamel pin, and an original sketch toget with the book and the bag.

The details are what makes the book so precious. The choice of a handwritten font for most of the descriptions turns it into something personal, like a journal, and yet the switch to the serif fonts brings you back to lore and education. As the title says, the fairies are “observed and documented by Iris Compiet” and you quickly believe that this is actually how everything came together, right into your hands. A special feature in the center of the book are the thick pages that unfold to a larger piece of artwork. As mentioned, it is the details that make it precious.


The artist handled the campaign in an exemplary manner, as she kept a transparent process of how the book came together from start to finish until it arrived at the backer's homes. There were regular updates and info on occurring complications which were handled professionally and all kinds of support inquiries were answered, sometimes publicly if it suited the purpose of informing a bigger audience. Iris still sells a batch of the books through her website and you are able to get copies if you are fast enough.

During the campaign, there were a lot of tiers and stretch goals, which made it clear that the book was meant to be more than what fits between the cover and the back but also the little extras, like a bag with the “green man,” enamel pins, prints, original sketches and much more. All carefully wrapped in foil and envelopes with stickers and postcards…it is hard to ignore the deeper meaning the entire project had to the creator of this campaign.

If you want to know more about Iris, we had an interview with her in Issue 3 of Firestarter and she was part of the Firestarter panel at Playgrounds - The Art Department 2018, where she answered more questions.


Book Details

  • Paper: 160g Bio Top

  • Cloth/linen-bound

  • Gold foil

  • Printed endleaves

  • Ribbon bookmark

  • 168 full-color pages

  • 14 x 24 cm

  • 740 grams

ArtbooksSpiridon Giannakis