GDE720 - Week 8

GDE720 – Week 8 : Research

Wow – week 8 already?! I’m a bit ahead on my project and hadn’t caught up on this week’s research, so I paused my development works and I want to get my head around the idea of production, funding and creation of this book – the logistics and pitfalls. Darren Wall was so interesting to listen to, so much knowledge, especially as someone who created Read Only Memory from a personal project.

Of course his Hot Chip designs are amazing and that got him a long way in the design world, evolving this knowledge into self publishing and book publishing. Same as record covers, book covers need to be amazing, they need to draw someone in and they definitely defy the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” – we all do it!

To create something physical and tangible that people want in their homes and people want to own is quite a challenge, it has to be something they love, on a topic they love.

Kickstart is such a great way to get something like this going – as a self-publisher, he needed that backing and he needed support – it also reinforced that there is absolutely an audience out there. With his history of the videogames, he’s moved onto making something he’s passionate about, something he loves and is selling it to like minded people.

His books about videogames are amazing, and my other half loves the nostalgia video games so this is right up his street. Anyone of his generation is the same, that nostalgic feeling you get hearing the video game sound, or seeing the characters is powerful, and it makes people want to buy these books because they’re also beautifully made. It’s videogame history and art design perfectly amalgamated the combine low and high culture. There’s a big market for this and he’s done such a great job tapping into it.

When it comes to book making, the right team is vital, it puts all the parts in the right places and everything falls into place. to have the freedom of kickstarter pulling you away from the “norms” in the book publishing industry, you no longer have to conform to their standards needed – for example the WH Smiths sticker, something I never realised gets taken into consideration for book cover design. It allows you to try something your self and prove to the traditional book publishers that thinking outside the box can be done. But you have to share yourself, all of yourself publicly, you’re exposed creatively, financially and personally. It all has to be shared.

By doing this, you do find the like minded people that want to share in this world, who want to engage with the product and help you create it. This core group of people can be found by looking in the right places or waiting for them to come to you, which they inevitably will. They want to be a part of it, they want to share in this moment and they want to give you suggestions.

When it comes to print and production, it’s evident Darren uses boutique smaller publishers, they can be more experimental, albeit more costly, but you get a great relationship with them and they’re happy to try new things. You’re making something people want to keep forever so it has to be memorable.

This lecture has made me realise I should look into kickstarter and how you’d go about doing this for a book like the one I’m suggesting – my book has quite a powerful angle so it’d be interesting to see what type of person would want to support this project. I know even some architects in York get frustrated at the type of buildings that pop up in the City, completely lacking in character and ambition, plain looking hotels that bring nothing to the City architecturally.


Lewis, A., (2016) So You Want to Publish a Magazine? (Links to an external site.) London: Laurence King

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