There’s no denying that our lives are becoming more and more digitised and that, as this happens, the world of print is having to adapt to keep up. There is a need to combine the two fields so that independent publishers can still provide a meaningful alternative to platforms like Amazon (where a third of the bestselling eBooks are self-published). This is a challenge that Volume, a new London-based publishing platform founded by Lucas Dietrich and Darren Wall and powered by independent publisher Thames & Hudson, is tackling head on.
By merging the digital and the physical, Volume aims to create “the perfect medium” and the first online publishing platform solely dedicated to books on the visual arts. First, Volume will “give creatives the opportunity to share their books with the platform’s community of enthusiasts before bringing them into the world,” say Lucas and Darren. It also aims to champion books across a spectrum of specialist subjects. Whereas traditional publishers might “shy away from sumptuous editions due to their production demands,” the platform will allow for a market test and – if received well – funding thereafter.
The first title to be released in conjunction with Volume’s launch yesterday (13 November), is Look & See by graphic designer Anthony Burrill. One of the UK’s best known creators in the craft printing and letterpress scene, Anthony is renowned for his typographic posters. The publication is a reflection of the designer’s unique practice, featuring a Bodoniana binding and a screen printed cover. A print, a signed edition, a numbered limited edition in a clamshell box and even the chance to spend a day with Anthony in his studio will all be on offer to anyone who backs Look & See through the Volume platform.
“Technology has had a major impact on how we experience content, which has in turn irrevocably altered the medium of the traditional book trade,” says co-founder Lucas. “Volume steps into this breach by offering an online platform that celebrates the spirit of individual creativity and those who want to take part in it through beautiful books.” Future projects to be release via Volume include collaborations with John Maeda and Takenobu Igarashi including a reissue of a bible of Brutalism, a collection of “architectural fictions,” and a limited edition on one of video gaming’s iconic releases.
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