At the end of this week I will have been working my way through this project for over a year. Right now the project feels a long way from where it started and frankly I’m not very comfortable with how it’s developed. The original idea (rewriting the rules of brand design) is gone and I honestly couldn’t say it’s been replaced with another central theme. The publishers I’ve spoken to have all been interesting and very positive throughout, but I’m still concerned about two areas:
- The publishing world in general is in a state of flux. Digital publishing, iBooks, print on demand and Amazon’s Kindle have altered the way books are consumed. Traditional publishing houses have not been quick to adapt their operations to these changes. All of which leads me to think a traditional printed and bound book is not the most appropriate media to deliver this project.
- I’m struggling to justify the environmental impact to myself. Having looked in to the publishing world, the sheer amount of print, packaging, transport and general waste is dizzying. Again it’s another area that traditional publishers have not sufficiently adjusted to.
All of this leads me to a point where I feel the need to rethink it all. I don’t wish to follow the traditional publishing route, but I’ve not been able to find a satisfactory alternative. I don’t wish to drop the ideas and work done, but I don’t want to continue with it’s current path. So for now the project is on hold.
I’m grateful for all the contributions, help and encouragement I’ve been given so far. I am convinced it will emerge in the future, in some other guise.
This project recently caught my eye for it’s very user generated approach to book design and publishing. It’s called Written Images.
“Created in collaboration with more than 70 media artists and developers from across the world, Written Images is the first of its kind, a ‘programmed book’, continuously regenerated for the digital printing process, offering each reader a unique experience.”
The team behind the project are using Kickstarter to get the first run off the ground. The more I look in to publishing options the more I find people, like this, attempting to find new ways to bring printed books to the fruition. It also seems that behind many new publishing projects are Kickstarter.
Following recent discussions with Thames Hudson I’ve decided to spend some more time on the design of the interior pages. They have given me some guidance on devices to include, as well as the use of images. I’m not taking massives leaps in the art direction, just some added goodness to tighten up the pages.
In to 2011
Looking back over the year it’s fair to say the project has not progressed at the pace I had hoped for. This is partly down to me and my hectic workload, but largely down to me adjusting to the slow pace of print publishing. Compared to pure digital or advertising projects, the book publishing world can feel glacial. I’m determined to give the project a jump start in the new year and i’ve got a number of plans for how to do this.
It would be great to bump heads with someone else who has been through the book production cycle. So if you know of anyone send them my way or if you’ve unlocked the Author badge, then you might be getting a call from me. Getting in touch with people who’s work I admire has been a fantastic route to adventure for me in the past.
I am also going to look more closely in to the different publishing options. Kickstarter is a really exciting organisation that could present self funding options. iPad apps present an exciting opportunity. Or perhaps there is something altogther different that I’ve yet to explore.
Expect to see much more progress over the course of 2011. I’ve resolved to get this project back on track, so watch out.
Photo by Steph McGlenchy
Here are some sample spreads i put together for a recent proposal. I used content from my original pagination line up to see how it hangs together.
I’m happy with the type grids and baseline, but perhaps the images could use more space to breath. Perhaps i’ve spent too long working with stingy clients who want to jam as many pics in to their brochure as possible. Adding more room around the images will mean the page count creeps up, but that’s not something i’m worried about right now.
Wow it’s been over a month since my last post.
I’m happy to report that it’s not because i have not dedicated any time to the project. I’ve been busying away at the pagination. It’s a pretty essential part of the project. It forms the core structure that I’ll be working to. It also includes all the case studies and contributors that I wish to include. It’s 95% complete and be honest I’m keen to leave it there, with the remaining 5% in your hands. Yes your hands. I’ll share the pagination on this blog and let you fill in the blanks I’ve left. If you throw suggestions in, you will of course get a credit in the printed book.
As well as pagination I’ve been meeting with publishers. Most notably London based Thames Hudson. TH are one of my favourite publishers in the UK right now. I’ve had a lovely chat with them and the editorial team have given me some brilliant guidance.
I’m currently putting together a batch of sample spreads, covers and chapter intros for publishing discussions.
More images, designs and book contents will come soon. I promise.
The Chiquita banana sticker contest was set up to allow users to design their own Chiquita banana sticker and share it in the gallery. Each sticker design was entered in the competition, the winners of which were printed and stuck on Chiquita bananas all over the world. It’s a pretty simple mechanic, but it seems to have worked very well. I like the straightforward interplay between online and offline adveritising. The clever aspect is that once the competition is over the prize becomes another form of branding.
As suggested by Pete Jupp
Just finished reading this book and there are some pertinent points that I wanted to capture regarding the Twitter feed that ran alongside the book.
…It seems the best way to understand the new creativity and baked-in marketing is to experience it. So to that end, we’ve included both a feedback mechanism and a way to experience the Baked In discussion in real time…
…We’ll be collecting, scanning and replying to the comments to ceate a better next edition; but more important for you readers, this book can become so much more for you than just what you’re holding in your hands. It can be an interactive experience that will get your mind racing as you play and experiment and critique while you’re reading…
Also a great excerpt on digital tools and how they empower creativity:
…Many traditional barriers to entry have collapsed. Want to have a voice? Start a blog. Want to make a product? Start a company. Likewise, new design tools accelerate production times for everything. Cool idea? Design it on a laptop. Email it to a factory anywhere in the world, in a matter of days the designer can have a product in consumers’ hands…