The Future of Publishing…?

Making history

Publishing history was made recently with the release of GRAPHIC DESIGNS 1, one of the first ever “creative compilations” produced exclusively as an eBook. Wilson-Lewis-Wilson Design is one of a small number of design firms from all over the world with work included in GRAPHIC DESIGNS 1, and we’re proud of it…although in a way it makes us feel like we’re “cheating on print.” (We have printer’s ink in our blood, you see.)

When Amazon.com introduced the Kindle reader in late 2007, the move to eBooks began. In less than four years, Amazon was selling more eBooks than hardcover and softcover books combined. Until very recently, all eBooks were black and white, type-only pubs with little to offer the reader visually. But with the overwhelming popularity of the iPad, Kindle, Nook and other tablet readers, the digital experience is improving rapidly. And now David E. Carter is producing full-color eBooks, loaded with hundreds of examples of outstanding creative work exclusively as digital editions.

Carter, who created over 110 “creative compilations” on logos, graphic design and advertising as ink-on-paper books, is the top-selling producer of books in the history of graphic design. Now, he has released eight new graphic design eBooks through his company, Bright Books. The full-color eBooks can be viewed on an iPad, Kindle Fire, other tablet devices, or on any computer. For Carter, the most exciting thing about eBooks is the economics of the new media. “My oid books used to cost $49.95. My new books are under $10,” he said. “This is a game changer for creative compilation books directed to creative people. They are now very affordable.”

Carter founded Bright Books in March of 2010, a month before Apple’s first-gen iPad was released. “Once the Kindle came out, it was inevitable that eBooks would eventually have color,” Carter said, “and I wanted to be the first mover in eBooks for the graphic design world.” He has realized that goal with his eight new books, which focus on logos, posters and graphic design. He will produce 13 more eBooks for the creative world by the end of 2012. The new books are available for instant purchase and download through www.brightbooks.com. The site also offers free 20-page sample downloads of each book.

We’re honored to have our work featured in David’s books. But I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss holding a big, fat, beautifully printed hardback in my hands. *sniff*

The End of an Era

And now comes word that the venerable Encyclopaedia Brittanica has decided to abandon print editions in favor of a digital-only strategy that, quite frankly, has been in the works for years. Their sales numbers had shrivelled to a fraction of their all-time high of 120,000 sets in 1990 and, after 244 years, it just didn’t make economic sense to continue their traditional publishing model. But it’s still a shame. Those mammoth volumes have served generations of scholars and school kids alike. A Google search may make research a breeze, but there’s still a lot to be said for exploring and discovering with the flip of a page.

Perhaps Marvel has the right idea. Their ReEvolution plan combines digital and print in a symbiotic relationship that makes the different media complementary, not competitive. To a self-described techno geek who still loves the smell of ink and the feel of paper, that’s music to my ears.

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