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April 2010
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Archive for April, 2010:

Books and Images and Collaboration from viction:ary

posted April 30, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling books publishing


Anyone who ever looked at picture books as a child knows that books aren’t just about text. Visual images can be just as powerful as the written word. I find myself drawn to books that celebrate visual images, whether they are photographs, graphic designs, or hand-drawn artwork, so I was excited to discover viction:ary, a Hong Kong-based publisher that specializes in collaborative image books.

viction:ary’s books cover a range of topics, including tattoos, architecture, fonts, and logos. The firm’s latest offering is Nice to Meet You Too: Visual Greetings from Business Cards to Identity Packages. It’s a sequel to, you guessed it, Nice to Meet You, which was published in 2006. I learned about this book via Yuko Uemura, a graphic and textile designer whose screenprinted towels I have purchased. Her business card is featured in this edition.

Here are a few more covers to tantalize you:
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Crimes of the Art

posted April 26, 2010

Posted by Anne Healey in book design

Norwegian artist Gardar Eide Einarsson’s new show at Team Gallery in New York consists of a series of large black-and-white paintings based on appropriated images. One source image, it turns out, is a book design by Peter Mendelsund, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Mendelsund himself. He wrote about it on his blog Jacket Mechanical, pointing out that the image is not, as the gallery’s statement says, in the public domain. 

Mendelsund’s not alone. Last year Einarsson showed a set of similar paintings that appropriate Camus book covers designed by Helen Yentus

Einarsson 2009

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Gavin Weale Sees the Business Savvy in Doing Good

posted April 23, 2010

Posted by Erin Brown in marketing publishing trends

There’s a great story in Publishing Perspectives about Gavin Weale, 32, of Live Futures, who won the UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur Award at this year’s London Book Fair. The award was for his work with London youth and his plan to start a magazine in Langa, the oldest township in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Weale is a founding member of Livity, a socially responsible marketing agency based in south London. In 2004 the agency launched Live magazine, a publication produced, marketed, and distributed by local youth ages 13 to 21. In creating a platform for young voices, Live has also captured a young readership. The project has enjoyed considerable success, spawning sister publications in other areas of London. Now a multimedia enterprise, Live Futures also provides youth with the opportunity and tools to produce their own music and videos.

Check out this video to get a glimpse of the tremendous energy and positivity that Live is generating:


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Keyboards vs. Typewriters

posted April 20, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in trends

hermes 3000

The ongoing debate about digital media vs. traditional publishing and ebooks vs. paper books got me all nostalgic about past digital transitions. Do you remember when you got your first personal computer? I think I was a junior in college, and I inherited my brother’s IBM PC. It used those 5.25″ diskettes, and I had to type DOS commands. I had a dot matrix printer! Before that I used what I believed to be a very fancy electric typewriter—a Swintec. I tell you I was the envy of my dormmates. And when I learned to type? A summer class in high school on an IBM Selectric. See? I bet you’re feeling nostalgic, too!

No matter which decade we are in, it seems there are always people who have vintage and retro sensibilities. About 15 years ago a friend and I regularly corresponded by U.S. mail via letters typed on manual typewriters. Even then it was rather retro. I used my father’s portable Hermes 3000, a sleek green typewriter with smooth keys. It should still be in my house somewhere (it better be, or someone, ahem, cough, husband, will be in big trouble). I also have an Hermes 3000 with cursive script that I picked up at a garage sale for $10 some years back. I was really surprised to discover that these typewriters now sell for hundreds of dollars, but I guess that is just evidence that no matter how many newfangled gadgets there are, there will always be value in the good old stuff.

French Pop Song of the Week: “La Corrida” by Francis Cabrel

posted April 18, 2010

Posted by Thomas Riggs in music poetry translation world literature


Although Francis Cabrel has been one of the best-selling songwriters in France since the late 1970s, he’s hardly had the typical life of a celebrity. Raised in the village of Astaffort, in the southwestern French department of Lot-et-Garonne, he still lives there with his longtime wife, Mariette. His first hit, “Petite Marie” (“Little Marie”; 1977), was dedicated to her.

Below is a video of Francis Cabrel performing “La Corrida” (“Bullfighting”), a song from his 1994 album Samedi soir sur la terre (“Saturday Night on Earth”), which sold three million copies. I love the tall, French windows at the back of the stage.

The lyrics describe the horror of bullfighting from the point of view of the bull, and the song shares with Cabrel’s other music a dreamlike quality and a yearning to say something that feels essential. Andalousie (Andalusia), mentioned below in the lyrics and translation, is a region in southern Spain known for bullfighting. The French expression “dormer sur ses deux oreilles” (“to sleep on both ears”) means to sleep deeply. In the song it’s used as a pun. After killing a bull the bullfighter is sometimes given its ears as a gift.

Francis Cabrel – La corrida
envoyé par dimigardien. – Regardez la dernière sélection musicale.

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