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Nov 10

Talking Design (BookMachine Unplugged 2021)

10 November, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT


Print book versus digital thumbnail: What are we designing for?

Publishers have grappled for decades with adapting print designs for a digital environment. Driven initially by the requirements for the Amazon thumbnail, little has changed and the challenge remains – what exactly is a designer doing when they design a book cover? Are they producing a luxuriously printed book cover that will drive sales in a book store setting? Or are they creating a postage stamp-sized icon to be displayed beside book data in a digital environment? 


Effects that add value on paper do not translate online. Production add-ons like foils, embossing, die cuts are worthless digitally. But digital offers unlimited options for exploration, including animation and sound. How do we manage this inherent tension when we have limited time and staff to address two distinct requirements? How can we unlock the innovative and interactive potential of digital while still respecting the print book object? How can we harness designers’ power – the ultimate problem solvers – in addressing this challenge as part of an overall strategy? 


On Wednesday 10th November, 6–7pm GMT, join an acclaimed international panel of creatives and art directors to consider the potential the digital thumbnail presents. We’ll hear about good and bad case studies, get the sales and marketing perspective, and debate the challenges and realities of design in publishing strategy.


Talking Design this year takes place during Design Season, running from 1st November to 10th December 2021.


*This session will have live closed captioning available for viewers to toggle on or off as needed*


About BookMachine Unplugged 2021

BookMachine Unplugged is an online and interactive programme of publishing events designed to offer real insights into what is working in publishing right now – and what the future of publishing may hold.


If you’re a publishing professional who craves an explosion of knowledge, ideas, and personal development – in a strictly social and informal setting – this event series is for you!


Each of the six BookMachine Unplugged events programmed for this year will zoom in on a vital area of the publishing industry. Discover the others coming up in 2021.


“Such a pleasure to spend the evening sharing thoughts about design thinking in publishing.” – Belinda Abbott, Head of Faculty, Design Thinkers Academy


Ticket details

This event is FREE for BookMachine members, and £5 +VAT for non-members. Log in to your member account and your discount will be applied automatically at checkout.


Can’t make it to the live event? A recording will be available for all members and ticket holders to watch after the event. Be sure to book your place in advance of the event to receive the link to the replay!


Want to make a saving and join the fastest growing global publishing community? Become a BookMachine member.



Your host

Linda Secondari

Linda Secondari, Principal and Creative Director at Studiolo Secondari

Linda Secondari is the Principal and Creative Director of Studiolo Secondari, a design firm located in NYC specializing in book design, branding, and design strategy. Before establishing Studiolo, Linda was Creative Director at Oxford University Press where she oversaw the design for yearly title output of 3,000+ books. Linda’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, NY Book Show, Stiftung Buchkunst Competition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the AUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. 

Follow Linda on Twitter @StudioloLinda


The speakers

JS 2021Jill Shimabukuro, Design & Production Director at University of Chicago Press 

Jill Shimabukuro is an award-winning book designer and Design & Production Director at the University of Chicago Press, where it has been her privilege to build a team of internationally celebrated book designers. Shimabukuro has lectured on book design at universities, conferences and workshops. Her work has been recognized by AIGA 50/50, Association of American University Presses, Communication Arts, Print’s Regional Annual, the Society of Typographic Arts and the Type Directors Club, among others. 

Follow University of Chicago Press on Twitter @UChicagoPress




Terri Sirma

Terri Sirma, Designer at Hachette Books

Terri is a cover and jacket designer at Hachette Books, New York, where she works on nonfiction trade books. She began her publishing career as an Assistant Designer at Oxford University Press, New York where she primarily worked on academic books for four years.




U Chicago LogoRowan Wilson, UK Director at Verso Books

Rowan is the Director of Verso Books London office where he oversees sales, marketing and editorial functions in the UK. He has many years of experience working with design colleagues to make brilliant covers work in print and online. 

Follow Rowan on Twitter @RowanMWilson



Find out more about the sponsors

Publishing Services Manager

emc design

emc design is a design agency dedicated to working with educational publishers and organisations helping to transform content into engaging materials that educate and inspire learners throughout the world. Their dedicated team of designers, project managers, art-buyers and supplier network offer an extensive pre-press service for all types of educational resources both in print and digital.


Horizontal logoStudioloSecondariLogo

Studiolo Secondari

By combining design thinking with process experience, Studiolo Secondari evaluates your ways of working, assesses how your audience feels about your brand or your website, and oversees those big design projects that you don’t have the capacity or ability to manage. And if you’re looking to drive storytelling and showcase your message to the world, we also provide full service book design and production from editorial and design to composition and manufacturing.


10 November, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT
Event Categories:
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