Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gdes2014-3004 Visit to the 2015 London Bookfair / Children's Hub

The 2015 Children's Bookfair seemed bigger than ever this year with not only the world's publishing industry showing their wares and developments - but (more specifically) much of the world's children's publishers too. The Bookfair gives one of only a few opportunities each year to see all of the world's publisher's on the one site - the rest being held abroad i.e. Bologne (Italy) and Frankfurt (Germany) etc..

Students from the Children's Book Design module(s) on the Graphic Design course were able to look around at their own pace and were prompted to pay special attention to 'innovations' in the publishing industry such as 'added features' (i.e. pop ups etc), and new media additions such as sound fx, multimedia and interactive e-books.. In addition the many stands offering many of these aspects (some of which we've already covered to some extent in sessions), there were various free industry talks ongoing at different venues within Olympia throughout the afternoon too that students could listen in to.

To help give an idea of the scale of this year's Bookfair, I've put a couple of my own quick phonepictures (below) showing the venue and myself and others on site..

Lynda and I are presently preparing a short overview of our findings/conclusions this year from the tutor perspective too - which we/I'll quickly run through at the start of next week's 'prototypes' sessions.


Two of our 3rd year students as we looked over some linked children's merchandising.

Olympia's main hall with just some of this year's publishers.

One of our yr 2 students with tutor Andy in Olympia's main hall.
Additional thoughts from Lynda:

Main points from the talk on The Real “New’ Publishing:
  • A company called tcoLondon manage a brand called Huck that covers digital, print, video and events.
  • They were commissioned by Google to produce a very short print run of books for a small specific target audience - each book personalised with recipients’s name.
  • They were then approached by Microsoft and Nokia, again to produce books, to mark their merger. This time each member of staff of both companies received a copy.
  • So, interestingly, these top electronic/digital companies saw physical books as having added value through scarcity (limited print run) and physical attributes such as magnetic covers, heat responsive pages pop-ups etc. Something digital doesn’t have.
  • Re cookery books - check out Ella’s kitchen - fastest growing brand in the UK (baby food) - see their nicely designed website/cook books for kids.
Children’s publishing area - lots of added features and notably lots of puppet books.

Child’s Play had a wide variety of added features - books that become masks, and some lovely ‘tunnel’ effect books like we saw in session in Jolly Postman, holy-poly boxes and die-cut figures that slotted into each page of the story.

Miles Kelly had the ultimate for me -  ‘Convertibles’ - books that folds out into a playmat, then reassembles into a sit-in vehicle!!!

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