Wednesday, May 25, 2011

epub 3 allows real design

I have been listening to several sessions at BEA on ePub 3, which is due for release at the "end of summer" aka something like Septemberish. It is exciting. EPub at its core permits books (ebooks) to reflow for the size of the screen (iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook etc). It has been pretty clunking and ugly in the past and the challenge for the publisher has been to make it look acceptable on all screens rather than to worry about it looking good on any screen.

There has not been much of a role for the book designer. EPub 3 changes all that and designers will be challenged to change and enrich the way they think. The page will be dynamic not static. There will be dynamic text flow across columns, around shapes, around images, border controls, finer typesetting controls and a whole host of other things a designer needs in the task of making things look good - and meaning accessible.



Hope you've recovered from the antics last week in Sydneytown. Congratulations once again to all the winners and those nominated, and those nearly nominated.
The giving of awards and the award night and format itself is bound not to please everyone. But I'd like to reiterate how much of a highlight it was to have the chance to put faces to names and compare notes. To literally have a chinwag about book design and stuff.
I have since read Chongs thoughts on his 2 awards for Hand Me Down World, ‘The Best Designed Literary Fiction Book’ and ‘The Best Designed Cover of the Year'. It makes good reading so am posting the link here. I did indeed go out and buy a copy yesterday.

And just in case I hadn't had enough of books and talking about books in the last week or so, I watched this episode of Jennifer Byrne Presents: The Future of Book, on iview last night because I missed it last week. Good viewing also.
Love your thoughts on the format, the choices, the winners, the nominations, those books that were clearly missing in action, how things could be done better, what the judges got right. There's been the suggestion, and not to detract from those books that do, that we have an award for the 'best book cover NOT using any foils, spot UVs, embosses, debosses or other fancy finishes' or perhaps an award for the 'best book cover designed using dodgy art supplied by the author'. I'm all for that. And what about an awards for ebooks?
Add your faves here and get this chinwag happening.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hi all,
I can offer some news about the agIdeas conference. I was there for several talks, as a first time audience member, although didn't see as many talks as I would have liked. It is a luxury to sit in an auditorium and have a series of speakers describe the way they channel their creative energy into life.

It's comfortable, well organised, and as a creative person you are unusually passive ... so you soak it all in and store it in a place that it can reappear when you are doing your own thing.

I missed Ken Miki from Japan, but he was great on all reports. Beautiful designer, that all book designer's, I think, can easily relate to. Toko's rep. speaker was great, Wout de Vringer from the Netherlands gave a generous history lesson on dutch design forgetting to leave time to show his own companies beautiful work. Each speaker only gets 20 mins.

My personal highlight was hearing Matthew Harding speak, an Australian sculptor. Well worth googling if you don't already know his work. A person completely immersed in observing and creating since a child, inspired by his builder (?) father, who has seemed to keep an unbroken focus since. He called it his work ethic 'absurd' or 'ridiculous', something like that. Very inspiring work, really beautiful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stops and Starts

Where has the time gone? Months since the last post. Anyone would think that with the demise of Red Group and the rise of the e-book, that the traditional publishing world had ground to a halt. Alas, the opposite is the case. A veritable chess board of movers and shakers. Mary starts Plum. Deb starts at Murdoch. Vivien starts her engines around Oz. Miri starts back home. Bob stops being full time. Juliette stops but starts I can't remember where. Lots of new business plans start up and production mega-budgets pause to catch breath. In all of this stopping and starting, I haven't managed to post a thing. Some blog! I'm just trying to work I guess. I marvel at bloggers who are at it at all hours. I guess the trick is to be quick and spontaneous. Light and easy. Not to take a post too seriously. Is that it?

Well, I'm kicking myself that I didn't find the funds and the time to get to AGideas last week. Bad timing with the BAS deadline for me this year, despite declaring for years that I could never afford NOT to go. I have always come away from it bursting with inspiration, excited and with a renewed purposeful direction, if not a few judiciously-pilfered ideas. Any reviews, highlights, lowlights are greatly appreciated here please.

Well I'll stop there. Light and easy, remember?

Oh, and for you Victorians, it's Booktown at Clunes this weekend.