The Danish Art Council reaps international recognition through a tree of books.

Creating long-lasting value

The Danish Art Council participated at the famous ‘Frankfurt Book Fair’ to strengthen new Danish children’s literature internationally. We developed an exhibition stand that challenged the traditional thinking by combining a fairytale universe with a new children’s website, and an event with the German Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass. The stand was visited by the more than 200,000 people and generated long-lasting value for the Art Council in both national and international media.

A creative fairytale concept

To support the newest drive of Danish literature, we developed a strategy founded on ‘fairytales’. The theme established a link between Danish and German literature, and functioned as the common idea for the elements on the exhibition stand.

Shortly before The Art Council’s participation at the book fair, we had celebrated Hans Christian Andersen's 200 years birthday in Denmark. Thereby, the fairytale universe drew parallels to Hans Christian Andersen himself and the fact that most Danes grow up with his fairytales.

Executing the universe

To ensure an effective execution of the fairytale strategy, we designed the elements for the stand in accordance with the fairytale theme.

The Tree of Books

As the masterpiece of the stand, we designed and produced a five meter tall tree made of books. Over 2,500 antique books were used to build the tree that resembled an old majestic tree from the fairytales. The tree was placed in the center of the stand to unite the elements and functioned as a point of orientation at the fair. 

The tree was both a symbol of fairytales and a way to display new Danish children’s books as the fruit of previous literature. Nikolaj Stagis
CEO & Founder, Stagis A/S

Bringing the universe to life

We developed an interactive corner on the stand that brought the children’s website to life and allowed visitors to enter the mysterious world of Danish storytelling. The walls were decorated with big-scale graphics from the website and we produced creative furniture to match the fairytale theme, including a bookshelf made of drawers and boxes and an old-fashioned school desk.

Bringing the universe to life

The walls were decorated with big scale graphics from the children's website.

Interactive corner

Visitors in the interactive corner with creative furniture and access to the children's website.

The three of books

The five meter tall tree of books as a point of orientation at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Documentary with Günter Grass

All the elements was designed to match the fairytale theme and created a playfull stand.

Event with Günter Grass

The Art Council’s presence culminated with an event with the German Nobel Prize winner, Günter Grass who had recently published illustrations of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. At the event, he did a reading of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales and gave his personal view on Danish literature. His presence endorsed the exhibition stand and created a valuable link between Danish literature and the German audience, and attracted more visitors than there was room for at the stand.

Günter Grass' illustration

Günther Grass' illustration and interpretation of Hans Christian's fairytale "Tommelise".

Günter Grass' illustration

Günther Grass' illustration and interpretation of Hans Christian's fairytale "Skyggen".

Günter Grass' illustration

Günther Grass' illustration and interpretation of Hans Christian's fairytale "Kejserens nye klæder".

Günter Grass' illustration

Günther Grass' illustration and interpretation of Hans Christian's fairytale "Den flyvende kuffert".

Günter Grass' illustration

Günther Grass' illustration and interpretation of Hans Christian's fairytale "Det er ganske vist".

A documentary secures long-lasting value

As the event with Günter Grass was a one-time event, we produced a documentary with the world famous author and showed extracts on the stand to make sure that the visitors could experience his precense during the five-day book fair.

The documentary was shot in Günter Grass' summerhouse in the 'Troll forest' on Møn, where he wrote most of his work and drew the illustrations of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales. Nikolaj Stagis directed the documentary while Niels Barfoed interviewed Grass about the relationship between German and Danish literature. Some of the scenes were shot in the forest behind Günter Grass’ summerhouse to draw parallels to the fairytale universe.

Increased press coverage

The fairytale exhibition stand became one of the most visited stands on the fair, and generated a considerable amount of attention to Danish children’s literature from both national and international press. The documentary with Günter Grass created value beyond the fair, as the documentary was later shown at international literature festivals all over the world. Among others, the documentary was shown on Odense Film Festival. Likewise, DR2 Deadline brought a news piece on the documentary, Günter Grass’ illustrations, and his relation to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales.

DR2 Deadline

DR2 Deadline brought a news piece on the documentary and Günter Grass' relation to Hans Christian Andersen.

Press coverage in Danish newspapers

The exhibition stand generated considerable press coverage in the Danish newspapers.

Press coverage in Danish newspapers

The exhibition stand generated considerable press coverage in the Danish newspapers.