The Art Book Fair involves more than 60 stalls of books, zines and prints from Australia and beyond. Art books aren’t just books full of art. Some of them are art – beautiful objects in their own right. Then there’s the launches, panel discussions, masterclasses … but where do you start?


Food and music
Tivoli Road Bakery is serving coffee and doughnuts all weekend, and Biggie Smalls is on-site doing kebabs and chips.

Design duo Tin & Ed have curated a smooth, R’n’B-electronica-tinged soundtrack for the weekend, ranging from the local (Superstar, Banoffee) to the global (Blood Orange, Jamie xx). Listen to it here.

NGV launches a book of posters
This limited-edition book (there are only 500) isn’t just a collection of advertisements. It’s a record of overlooked Melbourne history. Over the weekend the NGV is pulling rare and beautiful posters out of the archive to accompany the release of its aptly titled poster book, Some Posters from the NGV.

Posters advertising exhibitions at the NGV are a common sight, but in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, some incredible artwork went into the gallery’s advertisements. From the minimal to the ornate, most of these posters don’t even have logos or blurbs, just striking design and titles that promise extraordinary art from the new bluestone building on St Kilda Road.

Poster viewings are on Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Some Posters From the NGV launches at 2pm on Saturday. Entry is free.


12pm apostrophe workshop: Greatest ‘its
Have you been doing it all wrong? Possibly. The team behind Collingwood-based writing and publishing hub The Good Copy is hosting this workshop about a much-misunderstood piece of punctuation, which it promises will be fun and “stirring”.

The Greatest ’its workshop is on Saturday from 12–12.30pm. Entry is free.

1.30pm book launch: Lockjaw
In the ’70s and ’80s, a situationist punk collective called Zerox Dreamflesh collaged, zined, photocopied and mixtaped its way into Sydney's underground art scene. Its crowning achievement was Lockjaw, a short-run photocopied book published in 1982, and now largely forgotten. Until now. Telephone Publishing and Surpllus have lovingly re-printed Lockjaw. It’s a time capsule of a forgotten world of pre-internet pop culture, design and philosophy.

Lockjaw launches on Saturday at 1.30. Entry is free.


12.30pm panel discussion: All the women who are independent (publishers)
Chaired by Wendy Syfret, editor of i-D magazine, this all-female panel discusses women in journalism and the creative arts, from early feminist zines, to contemporary magazines, from the personal, to the political.

All the women who are independent (publishers) starts at 12.30 on Sunday. Entry is free.

3pm book launch: Head Full of Snakes #4
Head Full of Snakes is a love letter to motorcycle culture by two aficionados, and a very special piece of work from two graphic designers. Melbourne’s Stuart Geddes and Christchurch’s Luke Wood are back with a fourth edition of their series, which you could choose to see as an upmarket zine, or as a B-grade magazine. Either way, it’s a curated collection of photography and words, this time covering the US, from Californian deserts to New York bike workshops.

Head Full of Snakes #4 launches at 3pm on Sunday Entry is free.

The Melbourne Art Book Fair runs from Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1 at NGV International.