It’s been a torrid year for publishing. There have been closures and downsizing of much-loved publications, including product design title ID and the Observer Sports Monthly, and the UK book trade has recorded its worst sales performance since summer 2008, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.
As the recessionary juggernaut starts its cumbersome turnaround, however, 2010 promises some exciting developments in design for publishing. Magazines are still being launched and redesigned – this month sees a new version of FHM by Jeremy Leslie, for example, and a redesign of Architectural Design is imminent.
Meanwhile, newspaper publishers are attempting to tackle their decline head-on by experimenting with paywalls, and last month’s launch of the Apple iPad has been welcomed by many as the ’iPod moment’ for publishing. Its iBooks function has already shifted the e-book landscape and attitudes among UK book publishers to electronic platforms. There were no magazines showcased on the device, but if the success of recent newspaper apps for the iPhone is anything to go by (The Guardian’s being a much-lauded example), the iPad can only mean even greater potential and opportunity – and, eventually, a true and creative integration of print and Web.
Anna Richardson – Feature writer, Design Week