Designing Books of the Future: Visual Editions

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about the future of ebooks and noted that “sound business propositions will continue to grow, and well written, well edited and presented ebooks will continue to sell well”.

I also predicted print media becoming more of a choice for aficionados. Higher quality, luxury products with higher margins and lower print runs will become the norm for the physical medium. But the volume market will move to digital through an increasingly consolidated number of channels.

In this post I wanted to highlight a London, UK-based book publisher who are looking to the future, producing premium physical books, but also creating innovating in the ebook space: Visual Editions launched in 2010, co-founded by Anna Gerber and Britt Iversen. They describe the books they create as ‘Cultural Objects’. And the Cultural Objects they create are gorgeous.

The first book they published, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, was nominated for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year award in 2011 and the works they have followed it up with are no less innovative and beautiful.

The video below shows public reactions to Tree of Codes, which makes great use of the die-cut technique.

But Visual Editions have not just focused on print media. A few weeks ago, they launched what they describe as a ‘New Adventure’, Editions at Play. What makes these ebooks so special is that they are unprintable. Entrances and Exits by Reif Larsen is set inside Google Street View, whereas The Truth about Cats & Dogs invites you to take sides as you switch between reading the diaries of novelist Joe Dunthorne and poet Sam Riviere as they fail to collaborate.

I said yesterday that I do not claim to be a futurist, but this publishing house is certainly blazing a trail.