Established in 2002, Fraktura quickly became one of the leading book publishers in Croatia. The approach they took to introduce books to Croatian readers is open, straightforward and nurtures remarkably visual language. Browsing through the shelves of Croatian bookstores and libraries, you will most certainly stop and take a closer look at the books with the simple sign of a hammer in a circle.
Fraktura is one of the most recognisable book publishers in Croatia, covering foreign and domestic authors and dressing their works in beautifully designed covers made by Croatia’s top designers and illustrators.
While books are the main product of Fraktura’s business, it’s people who are at the core of everything they do. Well crafted books are often presented live, along with the authors, in different promotions, talks, book signings, before the reader takes one home and dives into new pages in solitude.
Book publishing and authors
Fraktura was founded in 2002 by husband and wife Seid and Sibila Serdarević to publish quality fiction and non-fiction books of domestic and international authors, established and new. They now launch around 60 new titles in a year. Many of them are awarded and acknowledged for excellent writing, translation and design.
The publisher itself holds several awards, for instance, one of the most prestigious Croatian book awards Kiklop for Seid Serdarević as the best editor in 2007, or London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2015 for the best international adult trade publisher.
Some of the authors under Fraktura’s wing are Dubravka Ugrešić, Miljenko Jergović and Daša Drndić, all known to the general public primarily for their writing, but also for actively participating in the life of the Croatian cultural circles. What all writers presented to the readers by Fraktura have in common are well crafted physical books.
Every detail is designed to elevate the joy of holding and reading the book, from the correct formatting and paper to the hardcover binding and custom-made illustration. The visual aspect is critical to them because we do judge a book by its cover. And in the case of Fraktura’s editions, it works in their favour.
Festival of World Literature
The need for the audience to connect with the authors and immerse in a book world in a more intimate way prompted Fraktura to establish the Festival of World Literature in 2013.
The festival takes place in Zagreb every September and hosts book authors from around the world. The programme is filled with talks, discussions and round tables, as well as with exhibitions around the theme of literature. Some of the renowned writers who attended and participated in the festival so far are the Israeli author Etgar Keret and Argentinean gestalt psychotherapist and writer Jorge Bucay.
This year, visitors enjoyed an exhibition of illustrations made by the students of the Art Academy in Zagreb, inspired by the various works of literature. Also, they could see how some of the renowned Croatian artists depict books in different visual art techniques. The main programme was placed in the new bookstore where you could see and hear some of the prominent international and local writers. A part of the programme was shown on national television as the majority of the audience had to stay at home due to COVID-19.
Until a couple of months ago, Fraktura sold their books exclusively through their partners and webshop and didn’t have a brick and mortar store. Through eighteen years of work, they established themselves as the authority in Croatian book publishing and built a large audience. It became time to make a physical space where people could enjoy a good book, learn something new and drink coffee. The Fraktura bookstore was open in July as a place for book promotions, talks and small concerts, with a goal to become a place where people go for a cup of coffee with a side of good literature and culture.
The place itself is carefully designed, with infinite dark shelves, large store window and a painted ceiling made by the dean of Zagreb Academy of Arts, painter Tomislav Buntak, inspired by the works of literature. The store is situated in the centre of the city in Ulica kneza Mislava 17, just across from the house where one of the biggest Croatian writers, Miroslav Krleža, lived during WW2. Now, Fraktura bookstore is the place where the greatest works of literature wait to be discovered by new readers.