Celebrating World Book Day

Today is World Book Day and we are using this occasion to celebrate books in all their shapes and sizes. Contrary to predictions that the internet will erase our love and need for print, book publishing is on the rise pretty much everywhere around the world.

The FT Weekend ran an uplifting piece recently about Self Publish, Be Happy, the online platform for self-published artists’ books. The London-based initiative with a focus on photography books has been a huge success since it was set up five years ago with some of the more rare books fetching up to £400.

Cary Grant reading credit BFIDigital technology has helped with the design and production of print, and social media is an excellent source for promotion and selling directly to the customer thus saving a great deal of cost for self-publishers.

It also allows for a certain amount of artistic freedom – and for some of us who have had to deal with book publishers, they tend to stick to a more conservative, tried-and-tested, possibly dated model.

We have a dedicated design bookshop on DT where we source and sell specialist books. Sadly, megastores like Amazon have hijacked this market – who can compete with their slashing prices and in a way we would not want to show a lack of respect for the work and passion that goes into publishing books by following the Amazon model.

For printed books to succeed, they need to be more special, more beautiful, more intelligent, more precious – and independent thinking.

Which brings me to our next venture – promoting select books from self-publishers. The subject will need to be in-line with what we do here, so topics on design, critical theory and creativity are all welcome.

We are keen to hear from you, so please contact me at Nargess@me.com.

Design Talks | 5 – 25 Scrutton Street | Old Street | Shoreditch | London | EC2A 4HJ | UK
Design Talks is published by Spinach Design
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Book review: Information Graphics

TASCHEN creates visually engaging books. The publisher excels at binding together paper that demonstrated the digital age should never eliminate the desire for the thoughtfully designed and engagingly written physical book.

Information Graphics does just this. Its analysis of graphic design past and present together with its rich selection of images provide a wonderful framework for this visual world that is forever evolving but remains as poignant as ever. On a daily basis we are confronted with a never-ending flow of information – a complex variety of data – and sometimes the easiest way to communicate is visually.

The book with its 200 projects and over 400 visual examples, presents a fascinating perspective on the subject, highlighting the work of the masters of the profession who have created a number of breakthroughs that have changed the way we communicate.

Information Graphics has been divided into two distinct sections. An introductory chapter gives an overview of the subject tracing graphic design back to the primitive cave painting which is seen as a way of communicating. It also features interesting essays by experts in this field including the author, art historian Sandra Rendgen, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Richard Saul Wurman, and Simon Rogers.

The second part of the book is entirely dedicated to contemporary works by some of today’s most renowned professionals from around the world.

This is a book to read, or to browse. It is one to inspire not just for those in the profession but any of us who is interested in the history and practice of communicating visually.

Information Graphics is written and edited by Sandra Rendgen, Julius Wiedemann and published by TASCHEN. Order a copy here.

Design Talks | 5 – 25 Scrutton Street | Old Street | Shoreditch | London | EC2A 4HJ?W | UK | www.d-talks.com | Bookshop www.d-talks.com/bookshop | Published by Banksthomas

All rights and labelled images are covered by ©