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From 3D print to the musings of a genius

Posted in Perfect print design on 28 March 2014

We’ve printed stacks and stacks of hardback books so far this year. Beautiful collections of photographs, illustrated gifts, a few novellas, recipe books and a whole lot of biographies! It’s a great and easy way to pull together thoughts and photos, keeping them all together in one place, without breaking the bank.

I love books, that’s no secret. Especially if they look good (I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but…..). When something leaps out of the bookshelf at me, I am generally sold, whether it be an interesting design or a beautiful print finish. My book greedy eyes spy it, I pick it up, feel the paper quality, run my fingers down the spine and examine the artwork. I read the synopsis on the back, the first paragraph, maybe the second, and if I want to read the third I know I need to find more bookshelf space somewhere. It’s an emotive journey that takes about 60 seconds, and it all starts with the cover.

That being said, here are a few books that certainly stand out, even if it’s just the price tag.

1. A book that stands out with 3D print

On Such a Full Sea, Chang-rae Lee

3d-on-such-a-full-seaA book about a futuristic America needs a futuristic cover to make it stand out. And On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee has achieved this quite literally!

From January 2014, it became the first book to have a 3D-printed book cover slip. With the first attempts to print the cover taking in the region of 30 hours to print!! Finally once the process was honed, the time was halved to a ‘mere’ *said with polite sarcasm!* 15 hours! Unsurprisingly this is reflected in the hefty price tag of $150 (about £90) to get one of these beauties. Still it does look cool!

With new technology like 3D-printing becoming more common place – I wonder if this is the sign of the future? To overcome the rise of the eBook, are printed books are about to become more than books, but art in their own right? Half of me hopes so, and half of me is concerned where I’m going to fit another bookcase!

2. A timeless classic

Penguin books

Books, literature and well… life, has certainly changed a bit since the 30’s and the covers of the first Penguin Books. The vintage retro vibe of the last few years has seen a real revival of this style, whether it’s on the front of a book, on merchandise or wallpaper (err. I want, I want I want!).

Design has always been key to the Penguin brand. Its simple colour coded block colours and Gill Sans text made them instantly recognisable at the time, and this hasn’t changed today. Their classic style gives a sense of security that resonates times gone by. The unobtrusive covers of their original books ironically stand out all over the world, with an air of timeless and authentic quality.


3. Is it electronic? Is it print? Well, it’s kind of both.

Bridging book

bridgingbookNow we are well into the age of kindle, apps and eBooks, this is the next step when it comes to interactive children’s books.

It’s a fantastic idea that embraces todays technology while still honouring the classic printed book. It uses magnets that are integrated into the page to trigger complimentary content to be displayed when turning the page.

Truly unique and the first of many more ideas like this to come.

4. Forget about the price tag

The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci

codexIn 1994, the most famous of Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific journals was snapped up for a whopping $30,800,000 (around £18.5 million!) by Bill Gates. This incredible notebook contains 72 pages of da Vinci’s thoughts and theories. Including the movements of water, the luminosity of the moon and why fossils can be found on mountains.

5. A labour of love for a good cause

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, JK Rowling


JK Rowling hand wrote and illustrated 7 copies of the Tales of Beedle the Bard which features in book 7 of the Harry Potter series. It is a collection of short stories and fables taken from Harry Potters world. Six of these were given as gifts to friends with the seventh put up for auction. Amazon.com bagged it for an incredible £1,950,000, making it the most expensive modern manuscript ever purchased at auction. The money from the sale was donated to the Children’s Voice charity campaign. You can see some fantastic pictures of the jewel encrusted book here.

Do you judge books by their covers? Or have you designed one yourself that you think stands out? Let me know at  service@doxdirect.com