The story behind the new Ninety Nine Years Leica book

 New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica  New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica  New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica

 New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica  New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica  New book: Ninety Nine Years Leica

Leica Camera posted on their blog today an interesting interview with the company's CEO Alfred Schopf where he explained how the new Ninety Nine Years Leica book came to life:

Where did the idea of celebrating 99 years of Leica Camera instead of the traditional 100 years come from?

A: Leica seems to have more than a close connection with the number 9. On 09/09/09 there were 9 products shown and released to the public, which was a significant milestone in the development of Leica on the path towards success. Especially with the introduction of the Leica M9, one of the products introduced on this date and another nod to the number 9.

By accident we became acquainted with a publishing house called 99 pages (no joke), which creates books with 99 pages.  After a few seconds, the idea crossed my mind that we should also do a 99 pages book for 99 years of Leica! During the realization of the project, we discovered that we could create about 10 books filled with 99 pages with all the history Leica has. Therefore, we decided to do a bigger edition in order to generate a real coffee-table book that can be read chapter by chapter, can be read over and over again and where the reader can discover new details about Leica and its development. And honestly I am very proud of the result.

The Ninety Nine Years Leica book is available also on Amazon.

Here is the official press release from Leica:

LEICA CAMERA CELEBRATES 99 YEARS

Special edition book recounts the path to becoming a living legend 

Allendale, NJ (December 6, 2012) – For nearly a century, Leica cameras have captured fleeting moments and transformed them into stories brimming with the lifeblood of true human experience. The iconic image of the end of WWII as displayed by the sailor and nurse in Times Square embodies the excitement and relief felt in the U.S. on V-J Day, an immortal message not of love, but of spontaneous joie de vivre.  As a stark contrast, yet just as intense, the palpable fear on Napalm Girl’s face reaches beyond the picture as she runs screaming from the wreckage that was formerly her home, announcing to the world that war also, and above all, affects the most innocent people: children. Now, the story of passion and inspiration synonymous with Leica Camera comes to life in “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” a 300-page tribute to the intensely emotive and legendary images that have become a part of our lives. It sheds an emotional spotlight on 99 years of enthusiasm for a small camera developed by Oskar Barnack in 1913.

Part history lesson, part compilation of personal anecdotes, part pop culture retrospective, “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” ushers readers into an undiscovered “Leica Universe.” A unique, fun and enlightening combination of compelling images and expressive texts tells the story behind a brand well on the way to becoming a living legend. Throughout the book, it becomes evident that not only has Leica played an active role in the world’s celebrations, sadness, relief and hope but also in the lives of its camera owners. The result of a close collaboration between Leica and the multiple-award-winning publisher 99pages - under the creative direction of Ansgar Pudenz, Rainer Schillings and Till Schaffarczyk - “Ninety Nine Years Leica” takes readers on a trail of photographic discovery blazed by legendary Leica photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and Elliott Erwitt.

“Ninety Nine Years Leica” debuted at the photokina 2012 trade show to rave reviews. In North America, fewer than 1,500 English copies are now available exclusively through the Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers.

This entry was posted in Other Leica stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • fjfjjj

    Wow, so a few years ago Leica had some coincidences involving the number 9, so now when we celebrate a century of Leica, obviously we should focus on the number 9. Is this company losing its soul or what?

    • IEDEI

      why so bitter?

      • fjfjjj

        Knowing Leica’s real history, which is rich enough, and watching the current generation of PR fools make a mockery of it by dredging up nonsense and putting it forward as meaningful. Is that bitter?

        • IEDEI

          Leica is a company…a company which needs to profit to survive. There’s nothing wrong with them marketing themselves….if you look throughout their history, companies have ALWAYS marketed themselves fiercely—Leica/Leitz is no exception.

          The world is a changing place, and companies have to do whatever it takes to adapt and survive. I credit Leica for building their brand and yet still sticking to their core principles. The M cameras are alive and well, and they get a lot of credit in my books.

          • fjfjjj

            Did I say there was something wrong with Leica marketing themselves? No, I did not. You’re making what’s called a “straw man argument” where you mischaracterize my position and then rebut it.

            There is nothing fierce about Leica’s stupid “9″ drivel. There is nothing adaptive about it. It has no relationship to their core principles. If you can argue otherwise, do so. Otherwise you’re just another PR bunny.

          • IEDEI

            this is all about marketing. i am also versed on Leica history…but am not so bitter that I must criticize every little bit of advertising/pr/marketing. so i return to my original question: why so bitter?

          • fjfjjj

            If this conversation is about marketing, why is your question about my alleged bitterness (I disagree with that assessment) and why pursue it so doggedly? If you insist on discussing me, perhaps you would care to make an argument as to why my criticisms are “bitterness” and not merely criticism. Hm? PR bunny.

          • IEDEI

            LOL. the bitter man strikes again. why so angry? I’m not the one who makes a blanket statement and assessment (which are untrue, btw) about a marketing exercise. Strange for sure. Why am I insisting on fueling your fire? because it’s too easy and entertaining, really.

          • fjfjjj

            What’s wrong with making an assessment? If it’s untrue, say why. You can’t, so you’re a PR bunny.

          • IEDEI

            you started the conversation. perhaps YOU need to explain. your lack of articulation and bitterness obviously gets in the way of you putting ideas together coherently! There’s nothing wrong with Leica’s naming of the book, Leica’s story of the 9s….or anything else they do to promote. It’s marketing. That is all. You, on the other hand, could use a PR agency to help you communicate.

          • fjfjjj

            I already said what’s wrong. It was a random, recent coincidence, so it’s an inappropriate choice as a keystone for a century of history.

    • http://twitter.com/danchip Dan Chippendale

      99 is more important than 100 in Germany. Leica is a German company. 99 years for a German company is a big deal. You celebrate your birthday don’t you?

  • Back to top