12 may 2022 — walhalla
Read Naked raffle

This week it has been 20 years since the typeface Sauna was released with the Secret Sauna Party in Berlin. It was the first opportunity to test the book Read Naked inside a hot sauna, because some parts of the book only become visible at 80° Celsius or higher. We made this publication together with Dutch designer Piet Schreuders, and the production – printing on Neobond paper (the Rolls Royce of papers), binding without using glue – guaranteed the publication would survive a serious sauna visit. Drying instructions to get the book back into the bookshelf are included on page 1.

We’ve written down some memories of this remarkable event on our Twitter feed, accompanied by some old-school lowres pictures. Twenty years later some people who attended the Secret Sauna Party are not only today on Twitter (nice), but still tell the stories from the Read Naked book to their children. The book is full of nice, surprising sauna-related stories. Sami went to the sauna with 3-times World Champion Sauna Bathing Leo Pusa, an essay by Marja Jalava puts the sauna in a cultural and historical perspective, and an interview with the master of experimental sauna’s Seppo Toivanen, about his weird backyard constructions (“Finally a way to make the neighbours totally jealous”), as well as lots of small, personal sauna stories. Also, there are the Designers’ Secret Sauna Stories by John Downer, Henrik Birkvig, and Kurt Weidemann. The sauna story of the late German type designer Kurt Weidemann, although referenced this week on Twitter, is mostly unknown. A pity, because it is pretty impressive if you think about it. Here is an excerpt: “I had my first sauna event in World War II in Russia. The sauna was situated in no man’s land between the German and the Russian positions, less than a hundred meters from each. By unspoken agreement, we used it on even, the Russians on odd days. The stones had to be heated up for three hours. You do not shoot a naked person.” And honestly, this remarkable story has been stuck in our own minds for 20 years as well.

Win a free copy in the Read Naked raffle
Anyway, to cut a long story short: recently we’ve found a box in the corner of our studio, which also included a fresh copy of the Read Naked book. As we enjoy a good raffle now and then, the 20th anniversary of Sauna is a good opportunity to make somebody happy. This collector’s item has been sold out for many years, but we give away this copy for free to the person who sends his best personal, remarkable, amazing sauna story to sami@underware.nl before 19 May 2022.