Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Limited e{dition}Books

I am so heartened this morning after stumbling upon the work of Bespoke Editions, a one-off edition press. The bookbinders behind Bespoke Editions, Mike and Kate Hyde, produce beautiful custom-made classic books hand made to order. They just launched their business this Fall and are taking orders for Christmas by invitation only at this point. Their work has received tremendous validation already when designer Richard Weston, of AceJet170, signed on to provide his design services for them. He claims we are at a tipping point now and the physical book is clearly, no longer the most appropriate medium for the delivery of everyday texts. But for important, classic and treasured texts, it is highly likely that the physical book will grow in popularity as a prized and precious artefact. The evidence is all around us. He went on to say this about the work of Bespoke Editions:

Personally, I think it's a great and timely idea. It's spot on; imagine being able to buy someone their favourite, classic novel, made to your unique specification. The idea totally works for me. Which is why I'm working for them.

It's been a while since I did any book work but over the last few weeks I've been helping Kate and Mike develop the layout and style sheets for the internal pages. Drawing on Hochuli's seminal book on book design and Tschichold's timeless book work, I've really enjoyed the understated discipline of book design again.

The editions will be in a Demy format and the page layouts will be based on the Van de Graaf Canon. After a set of tests, we've settled on the beautiful Hoefler Text for the typesetting and each title page will feature a carefully chosen typographic ornament that has some relevance to the particular book.

I have nothing personal against eBooks, as I honestly believe there are a lot of printed books which are a waste of resources. It does however make me smile to hold a beautifully-made fine e{dition}Book. Love the selection of the Hoefler Text too.

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