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Category: Design

publishing

In the run up to BookMachine Week (23 – 27th February), we have been thinking about images and publishing.

On a typical day you probably gaze over hundreds, perhaps thousands of images. It’s pretty standard to start the day by watching TV, reading a paper or switching on a phone – images are everywhere. They are used to entertain us and inform us, meanwhile clever advertisers use them to turn our intentions into actions which result in purchases.

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Comics and publishing

This is a guest interview with Tim Pilcher. Tim has spent over 25 years working in comics and publishing at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, Comics International, Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Ilex Press. He is the current chair of the Comic Book Alliance and is the author of over 18 books. He is the editor of Brighton: The Graphic Novel, and the forthcoming, Brighton’s Graphic War. He is currently Humanoids’ UK liaison and has lectured on comics at Trinity College, UCL, Imperial War Museum, ICA and The British Library. Follow @Tim_Pilcher or sign up to BookMachine Brighton on Monday 23rd February.

1. How do you think that comics are going to evolve in the next 3-5 years?

Well, digital comics are constantly evolving and there are more and more online portals setting up. Comixology is the daddy (and now owned by Amazon) but Sequential are a fast-growing company to watch, who provide tons of non-superhero comics online. But I think where comics are really going to evolve is not so much in delivery platforms, but more in the breadth of topics that the medium explores. In Japan non-fiction manga is well-established, but that’s an area that’s just starting to grow with titles like Darryl Cunningham’s Science Tales and Supercrash: How to Hijack the Global Economy. Reportage is another area for growth, thanks to the work of Joe Sacco (Footnotes in Gaza, The Fixer, etc.)  I think the comic book “memoir” has become an overcrowded market and I’d like to see more creators actually approaching the graphic novel as a NOVEL, that is contemporary fiction drawn in a sequential manner. The best recent example of this is Glyn Dillon’s The Nao of Brown.

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Transferable skills

This is a guest post from Suzanne Collier, who is described as THE person to see if you want to get ahead in book publishing. With over 30 years’ experience of publishing, in both trade and academic, she founded bookcareers.com alongside her sales and marketing role within the business.  Fully qualified in Careers Guidance she sees private clients from Managing Director level downwards (@suzannecollier | @bookcareers).

No doubt, like many others, you’ve read the results of the bookcareers.com salary survey  and you think now is the time to go in all guns blazing and negotiate a pay rise.  Hold on, don’t go blustering in straight away and ask for more money because the ‘survey says so’. The survey figures are only part of the picture, do some research first.

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the sick rose

This year’s British Book Design and Production Awards – supported by the the British Printing Industries Federation and, as the name suggests, paying as much attention to the form as the content of nominated books – were awarded last week, with the big winners publishers Thames & Hudson, who took home three awards: Book of the Year and Exhibition Catalogues for Richard Barnett’s compendium of medical illustrations The Sick Rose [pictured above] and Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Education for OKIDO’s What’s Inside?

Judges said of The Sick Rose: ‘this beautifully crafted book held the judges’ attention and provoked our imagination like no other this year.’

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This is a guest post from Toby Hopkins, Senior Account Manager at Getty Images (sponsor of next month’s BookMachine London).

“Does Getty Images have a social media strategy?” Sam Missingham asked me after one of her tour de force appearances at BookMachine or a similar event.   Myself being new to Getty Images at the time, I couldn’t answer. So I talked to a woman who could. Jen Stanley, based in London, is a member of the global Getty Images social media team.

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Many design companies, like us here at HL Studios, come from a print or web-based background and have had to do some serious upgrading (of software, equipment and especially skills) to keep up with the multitude of digital devices available on the market today. Designing for these devices is quite complex, as each device has different characteristics that impact on the user experience.

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A couple of months I wrote an article for the Futurebook blog in recognition of the site’s world-wide reach, and I thought it was time to share some of these thoughts with the BookMachine crowd and also re-visit some of the scenarios, which have now been published.

Working at a design agency that primarily works with educational publishers has given me an understanding of many requirements and considerations that need to be met for producing material (both print & digital) for many different markets. However, publishing for a global market is different to market specific publishing. The premise is that technology has made content (books, ebooks, websites, resources etc) accessible to a wider range of audiences across the world. This poses new challenges for publishers who need to meet the demands and requirements of a global market.

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Spineless Classics have hit on a novel concept that’s sure to turn book-worms into an art lovers: you  choose a book from their list of titles, and they take the text and arrange it on a single page design. From a distance they look beautiful; when up close they are legible. Carl Pappenheim is the brains behind this idea, so we thought we’d find out more..
 

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book designs

This is a guest post from Thomas Bohm. Thomas studied graphic communication, and now works for book publishers and businesses, whilst running User design a graphic communication design, illustration and production service. Thomas writes, researches and occasionally publishes. He wrote Punctuation..? (2nd edition, User design, 2012) a fun and fully illustrated book on punctuation. Has won awards from the following competitions: British Book Design and Production Awards, 3×3 Magazine and European Design Awards.

Here are 10 tips for improving book designs, they come from my own practical experience and observations. There are many parts, processes and people involved in the production of a book, decisions are usually not down to one person alone, but a group of people each with their own requirements, understandings and style preferences. Subsequently a successful and open minded editorial/designer/client relationship is essential for good results.

1. Make the gutter as wide as it needs to be

Text in books is often hampered by the arch of the open book and falls into the gutter, which causes text which is hard to read and annoys readers because the text on the inner right side and inner left side bends into the gutter. One reason why this happens, is because the designer has failed to make the gutter wide enough.

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BookMachine Oxford

This is a guest interview with Rebecca Swift, Director of Creative Planning at iStock (speaker at BookMachine Oxford during BookMachine Week)

1. What advice would you give to publishers to help them pick the right images for their books?

Choose images that you love. Don’t compromise on imagery, it does not mean spending lots of money but being focused on what your imagery is representing in your book. Don’t allow the images to be space fillers. The modern visually literate audience is subconsciously aware of images that are not chosen with care and consideration. At their worst, images are deemed cliched and outdated.

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This is a guest blog post from Stacie Vander Pol. Stacie is a marketing entrepreneur with nearly 10 years of dedication to self-publishing. Through her experience publishing hundreds of titles, she knows first-hand that the key to a successful book is more than great writing; it’s also great marketing. Stacie’s passion to support self-published authors was the inspiration behind her latest endeavor, CoverDesignStudio.com.

Do you know the fastest way to connect with potential readers? Your book cover image. That’s because we connect with pictures faster and more easily than we do with words, which makes images ideal for attracting instant attention. Images are so effective, you rarely see a book without one.

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This is a guest post from Rebecca Swift, Director of Creative Planning at iStock (speaker at BookMachine London this Thursday)

Last year Facebook revealed that users uploaded 350 million images every day. The 2014 Internet Trends report from analyst Mary Meeker published in May states that internet users are sharing 1.8 billion images every day (thanks to the visually based apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp as well as Facebook.)

These numbers were unfathomable even 5 years ago and it was only 15 years ago that digitization of imagery was really starting to take off.

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Christopher Bladon is the Design Manager at HL Studios, sponsors of BookMachine Oxford. As well as being a talented and creative designer, Chris is the go-to guy for anything technical. A problem solving genius that has earned himself the nickname ‘The Oracle’ at work. Charly Ford interviews him ahead of the big event:

1. What makes a really strong design?

The primary objective of any design is communication, so a clear understanding of layout is essential, as it allows the viewer to scan and absorb the intended order.

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Giuseppe Castellano

In the run up to BookMachine New York, we’re running a set of interviews with publishing professionals connected to the City, with an interesting story to tell.

Giuseppe Castellano is an Art Director at Penguin Group USA and has over 13 years experience in book publishing. He oversees the imprints of Grosset & Dunlap, PSS!, Warne, PYR, and Poptropica, and was recently awarded first place in the New York Book Show for his work in art direction and illustration.

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True story: there are some really, absolutely, unquestionably terrible book covers in the world – ones that make you want to approach bookshelves with a flamethrower rather than an open wallet – and while we’d like to curse these to that terrible time in history when ‘fashionable’ was synonymous with ‘seizure’ (the 80s), this isn’t always going to be the case. Given that some people still believe a large stock image and a whacky font is a winning way to represent their title, I don’t think we’re going to be stuck for contenders for the worst book cover award any time soon.

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