Books On Demand is an exhibition of illustrated books produced using print-on-demand services, along with prototypes and experiments created as part of the research through design process.
Broadly, this research investigates the evolution of the book in a digital age from a design perspective. More specifically, it asks: What new opportunities do digital production technologies (such as print-on-demand) afford publication designers? What happens when designers are consulted in earlier (project development) stages of the publishing process? How could a designer’s particular understanding of word-image interplay and materiality alter the way books are conceived, designed and produced?
Books On Demand is the first iteration of an ongoing research project. The exhibition reports on a series of projects (the exhibited books and the collection of prototypes that led to their production) that address these questions through commercial and experimental design practice.
The 12 books were produced using a variety of different print-on-demand formats and service providers, testing the range of publishing options available. Some were designed specifically for POD production—Analogue Bodies (2014), Words from the First Walk (2013), the Viva La Novella series (Seizure, 2014)—while others have been reformatted as POD books – Birds with Smutty Names (2012) A Poetics of the Naughty (2012) and Writer’s Typewriters (2011).
An annotated catalogue documents the design and production process behind each book and makes clear what is gained—and what is lost—using this publishing technology.