An interesting attempt to make a case for paper, and to point out the environmental implications of an entirely digital world. Hint: massive storage and network requirements require huge real-world resources and significant energy consumption.
Many, if not most, Australian publishers and plenty of individual authors have books printed in China. The printing prices on offer are very attractive, and the quality often excellent. However there is a dark side to printing in the People's Republic: censorship. You might think that a book being printed for an Australian (or any other non-Chinese audience) would be simply printed and shipped back to the client. This is only partially correct: it is checked by Chinese censors to make sure the book in question conforms to certain Chinese sensitivities — even if not a single Chinese citizen is destined to read it. Such sensitivities include drugs, sexuality and references to China and Chinese history. If your book mentions Taiwan, for example, you had better make sure it reads as "Taiwan (China)". If your book discusses Chairman Mao in anything but the most glowing terms, better find another country to print it. The Chinese government interest in content is a salutary reminder that the country is burdened with a dictatorship, with all the stifling, anti-democratic and bureaucratic impulses that go with that kind of government.
A long time ago, type was embodied rather than digital. Skilled craftsmen working for large companies laboriously designed and cut letters from metal and sold them across the world. The American Typefounders Company was one such outfit, and it regularly produced an exhaustive catalogue of their wares. Not only did the catalogue include hundreds of beautifully set sample pages of their type, it featured an extensive corporate introduction extolling the modernity of their facilities and sales outlets. It really was a 'gold mine for the progressive printer', digitised beautifully by The Internet Archive.
Our client requested a bold and attention-grabbing poster to attract entrants to their short story writing competition. The design needed to echo design elements used in an earlier anthology of short story winners (also designed by Chameleon). We used the flowing, high contrast Mrs Sheppards (designed by Alejandro Paul) in conjunction with the clean lines of Museo Sans. With a big block of solid colour and the sharp page turn curves at the base of the poster, we gave the poster enough muscle to communicate effectively.
After recently writing The Longest Journey, Amanda Stuart wanted to showcase her book online. The website she commissioned is extremely clean and easy to navigate. As the book garners more attention, she will add reviews and reader comments. Possible enhancements might include a sample passage or chapter, a press release and a list of bookstores stocking her book.
Our publisher client prefers us to design covers as a single unit -- back, front and spine all part of the same artwork. This encourages the use of large, bold images and prominent use of type. The three front covers featured here all focus on a single face challenging the viewer, a naturally strong composition.
Our client provides an integrated service to people in the building trade. She wanted her documents to look attractive, but not overdesigned. Her clientele are mostly male and are looking for practical, no-nonsense assistance. Our solution involved generous amounts of white space, strong colours, clear imagery and bold, spare typography.
Wacom seem to have come up with an intuitive way of melding the hands-on beauty of drawing on paper with the world of digital design. Using a special pressure-sensitive pen, an artist/designer can draw directly and intuitively onto paper (with real ink) and all marks will be recorded by the pen for later uploading. Wacom's promotional text claims that Inkling "bridges the gap between traditional, freehand sketching and digital development".
Drivers have a hard time on the Great Ocean Road — torn between vistas of forest and sea and keeping their vehicles on the road. The Road runs from just south of Geelong, past Apollo Bay and Cape Otway, alongside the Twelve Apostles and on into the windswept cliffs and beaches of Western Victoria. Our client painted a panorama of the Road and its attractions, and wanted to sell it at information centres in the region. We scanned and stitched together the metre long artwork, adding circular images of attractions and trying not to obscure any important information.
Though it could be an obscure indie band, TFL is actually a website that follows through on the promise (or threat) of its title. America's lawyers produce gargantuan piles of poorly formatted documents and in the process communicate rather poorly. Matthew Butterick makes a persuasive argument for the importance of the considered use of type and page layout (especially using Word or Excel). His website and book are rich in practical examples and of course apply to anyone producing documents, not just the legal set.
Our client prospected for diamonds, and even diamond-hunters need a business card. Aside from the usual contact details, he was keen to give the reverse side of his card additional utility as a way of measuring objects and providing scale in photographs. He also intended to use it for jotting notes to include with samples. After ten years of use, he returned for an update and reported that the card/ruler had been very handy.
Dragonfall Press is bravely dipping a toe into the turbulent waters of modern publishing, showcasing fantasy and science fiction by Australian authors. We were commissioned to craft a logo suitable for use on book spines and readable at quite small sizes. With the famous Slovenian dragon bridge as source material, we melded a wing, a head and an elegant 'D' (Filosofia Grand by Zuzana Licko) to create a logo that will hopefully help give Dragonfall a distinctive brand.
Harry Rickards was a nineteenth century show business entrepreneur and performer who made a risky move from Britain to Australia. His business doings were colourful to the point of criminality and he died a rich man. We wanted to convey something of the swagger of the man and the constant chatter of the material produced to promote his shows. We used typefaces appropriate to the time.
We design three catalogues per year for Vision Australia. Each edition is released by three different distributors. By running the distributor information in black only at the base of page one, we are able to swap the black plates only during the run, keeping printing costs to a minimum.
When "Beyond Indigo" was published twenty years ago, the author was unhappy with the book's cover, feeling it was conventional and stodgy. With a new publisher, he finally had the chance to remedy the errors of the past.
The book deals with an elderly opal miner and an extraordinary opal strike. We took full advantage of the dramatic colours of that gem. With a gem specimen overlaid against a close-up opal pattern, the composition might also be a wing, a sunset or a landscape — almost abstract, but concrete enough to tie the book to its subject matter.
Tish Lees grew up on a remote and beautiful cattle station called Karratha. An accident of geology put her parents' station at the heart of Australia's iron export industry. Tish chronicles in her book a vanishing way of life. She wanted us to capture the feel of the WA outback, the dust and blue skies, and to integrate the best of her family snapshots. The result has sold extremely well and is into its third printing.