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Freitag: Individual Recycled Freeway Bags
For those addicted to hand bags, backpacks, purses and murses, Freitag will satisfy your cravings with its luscious images of custom bags designed from used waterproofed truck tarpaulin, seat belts, and bicycle tires. Freitag bags take the notion of recycling to a whole new level where each bag is unique—just like the book’s spine.

The publication gathers evocative and candid photography around the story of Markus and Daniel Freitag, who evolved their first bag (made with nothing more than scissors and a sewing machine) into an international craze. What makes Freitag a pleasurable read is the way full-bleed color photography of people, places, and things evoke a sense of where the bags came from and how they live amongst their owners. The overall visual narration speaks to the reader by cutting across language barriers. And an introduction by Max Süng explains why so many people love their Freitags with questions of authenticity and genius surrounding his short justification.

It’s understandable why so many people adore their bags. And the Freitag bags demand extra special affection, as they are not only tools carried close to your body, but each bag is carefully crafted with a signature style—and highly durable. In short, they will outlast most of your possessions.

Freitag bags have been trumped as collectible, chic, phenomenal, and downright Swiss; the book reflects these qualities with its humorous take on the brothers and their company. The hefty monograph takes you from the birth of the bag to its maturation, and is done with sophistication and a sense of whimsy.

Lars Müller was born in Oslo in 1955; he is a Norwegian and has lived in Switzerland since 1963. After an apprenticeship as a graphic artist and some years as a peripatetic student in the USA and Holland he opened his studio in Baden in 1982. Since 1996 he has been a partner in the Integral Concept interdisciplinary design group, which operates in Paris, Milan and Baden. Müller started to publish books on typography, design, art, photography and architecture in 1983. Lars Müller is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and has recently started work as professor of graphic design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel. (Excerpt taken from Lars Müller Publishers online.)

Book Information
Freitag: Individual Recycled Freeway Bags
Lars Müller (Editor), Max Kung
492 pages Hardcover
9.7 x 6.8 x 1.7 inches; 2.8 lbs.
Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN: 3907078470
Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Jul.25.2005 BY Jason A. Tselentis
Eric Benson’s comment is:

I think they're a great idea... I nearly bought one but I'm a student and can't afford it. I'm not sure what there is to really comment on regarding this topic.

On Jul.25.2005 at 02:19 PM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:

There's another similar line that's been around since 1993, LittlEarth that has taken a similar concept but applied it to products made from license plates, bottle caps, and also seat belts, innertubes, and the like.

And I've also seen a number of Frietag knock-off products lately... one by Donkey (sorry, no link) at CB2 here in Chicago. But Frietag bags are the original as far as I know.

I know this is more a book review than product piece, but I thought I'd point out what else is out there. And the knock-offs are solid evidence of the Frietag influence even a few years after their bags were on the edge of 'hip' (or hanging off the edge of yours).

On Jul.25.2005 at 03:07 PM
Jason Tselentis’s comment is:

Thanks, all. True, it's a book review, but the bags, the brothers, Lars, and the book itself are all game for discussion. As another side note, a group calling themselves reloaded bags makes a line very similar in look to the Freitags, and the marketing and communication materials have a similar sense of whimsy (this is us, and we don't take things too seriously).

However, I doubt any of these companies use the tarps and can brag about green design. As much as I crave my own Freitag, my $19.99 Parcel bag from a Seattle street vendor will do just fine—and it looks similar. The book addresses this issue of copycats, and justifies the expense of buying a Freitag bags by stressing the recycled nature and their authenticity. Freitag laid the groundwork, has been keeping that golden egg warm, and will continue nurturing it. They have expanded their market and product line to include more "upscale" and fashionable goods such as wallets and laptop sleeves. I see them giving folks like Puma a run for their money in the long term.

Check out Freitag's Mancipation Line


On Jul.25.2005 at 10:45 PM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:

Jason - the donkey messenger bag at CB2 actually uses old NYC billboard vinyl, so at least they're reusing materials just like Freitag. Of course, they're also reusing Freitag's idea.

LittlEarth's products are based entirely on the reuse/recycle/repurpose idea. I don't really dig the look of their products, but I appreciate their sensibilities.

On Jul.26.2005 at 08:54 AM
Lorenzo’s comment is:

Are these bags/tarps really recycled? According to the website it looks as if they are "sampling" the tarps from moving tractors that are pulling into truck stops for whatever reason. I don't have the book so I don't know the whole story... Just making an observation.

These bags are original in their own right. There are other groups that are making bags from museum banners and/or billboards wraps too. There's lots of original ideas out there, it's hard to say who did what first. Obviously there is an influence!

Whatever their source is, their bags are fantastic!

On Jul.26.2005 at 12:16 PM
Lyndi Parrett’s comment is:

very very cool bags! i went to the website and you can actually make your own with materials they provide. if you're a type lover than you'll love it because the letterforms are so grand. too bad they charge hundreds of dollars for stuff they "may" find on the road.

On Jul.26.2005 at 08:28 PM
Leo’s comment is:

There are a number of companies copying Freitag nowadays. For example, kultbag

Search for Freitag style bags on Ebay and you will find a few more companies.

For something completely different check out my alumabags.

On Nov.19.2005 at 04:53 AM
Anne’s comment is:

I am travelling in Europe & US and would like to buy two frietag bags as gifts to take back to Australia. I know they are available in Australia but thez are very expensive there. Where are they made? Thank you

On Jun.06.2006 at 05:26 AM
Jason Paul’s comment is:

Bought the surfside six model of the FREITAG line best bag on earth , three day shipping to so cal
life is too short to settle for second best - JP

On Aug.28.2006 at 08:44 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

ID magazine's current issue has a little blurb on Frietag's recycling taken into the Architectural realm. A fantastic repurposing went into their new store.

On Aug.30.2006 at 06:32 AM