Plan BEY is an artisan-publisher of artists’ multiples, books and prints. Plan BEY consists of a design and production workshop as well as two exhibition and retail spaces.
Plan BEY is not an art gallery. We don’t exhibit or sell unique pieces or originals. Our exhibition and retail spaces feature our own editions and publications developed in our workshop in direct collaboration with Beirut-based artists, and locally produced.
Plan BEY is a business model, a way of doing. Our collaboration with the artist follows a specific process including a process of selection as part of an editorial line, of design, production and then exhibition and retail.
Plan BEY is also two individuals who put together their dreams and their know-how to create a unique and personalized model: Karma Tohmé (artistic direction, graphic design & production) and Tony Sfeir (editorial direction, exhibition and retail).
Selection and editorial line
To be able to interact in an interesting way with the work of an artist, and bring out what makes it unique, it is important for us to have a personal and direct contact with the artist and his body of work. The artists with whom we collaborate are often anchored in the same reality as we are, either based in Beirut or visiting it regularly.
It is important for us to collaborate with artists who define themselves as such, who are active, consistent, and who are trying to build through accumulation and continuity. They are mainly artists who are represented by galleries, who have exhibitions and publications, and who are active and present on the local art scene, and often internationally too.
Our work completes their professional activity. We offer them a platform that can give a new life to series already exhibited in galleries, often as a publication or an artist book, far from the simple functionalism of an exhibition catalogue. We also offer them the possibility of bringing to life works that cannot find their place in the market of Art in its current form, for one reason or the other: artist books that are difficult to sell as originals, photos that don’t belong to a specific series and will never find their place in a themed exhibition, illustrations singled out from published series and given their full independence, works that require editorial work, design work, or intervention to reach their full potential, etc…
Design & production:
The final products are developed in our workshop, in direct collaboration with the artist. The choice of the category of edition (poster, limited print, publication, multiple, etc…), of the format, the shape, the right printing techniques, the manufacturing and the binding are tailor-made to each project.
Plan BEY has developed its own production workshop as well as a network of artisans and manufacturers that allows us to propose a wide array of solutions, and unique combinations of production possibilities that make each project unique.
The printing techniques we use vary from high-quality pigment ink inkjet printing on archival paper, to manual printing in silkscreen and press, offset printing or digital printing.
We have also developed a variety of traditional and less traditional manual binding techniques that complement the printing process, to be able to produce truly beautiful objects on all levels.
Exhibition and retail:
The launches and exhibitions organized by Plan BEY celebrate the birth of a new product, a series of products around a common theme, or an array of products developed with one artist to give an overview of his body of work or a part of it.
The products vary between posters and cards, graphic and photographic prints in limited and numbered editions, small runs of offset-printed books, artist books in limited editions, as well as limited editions of multiples, or other kinds of prints such as vinyl wall-stickers.
The selling price is calculated according to the production cost – which varies greatly depending on the printing techniques, materials and binding used – and to the limitation of the number of copies produced. We always take care to keep the prices as affordable as possible.
The Plan BEY story:
Plan BEY has been open since December 2010. Its name hides a reference to a plan A that came before it, developed by the same founders.
“The idea came after closing down La CD-Thèque, our music shop, and putting on hold most of the music production activity of Incognito, our production and distribution company, due to the global downfall of the music industry.
While getting out of the music business, we still felt the need to keep on producing things, but branching out into other cultural and artistic directions.
We also felt it was the right time to make the most of our 13-year experience to build a new, personalized model that would really be tailor-made to our abilities, personalities and way of work.
The name was very difficult to find. It looked so obvious afterwards, but took quite a few nights of thinking and drinking and brainstorming to materialize.
Plan BEY is a direct reference to the expression “Plan B” (if you read it in French, it makes sense phonetically). We always presented the project as being our Plan B, after Plan A (i.e. La CD-Thèque/Incognito) was over. So it was very relevant and simple actually to call the project Plan B. But the “BEY” is also a reference to how anchored we are in the city of Beirut, and how important for us it is to work locally and dig deeper in our direct surroundings, to be able to reach universality.
The name really shaped the identity of the shop and our whole model and way of work are based on the idea of “working in Plan B mode”.