Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Notting Hill Editions
Anyone launching a new publishing company focusing on physical books gets a big hug from me these days. When the publisher is someone like Notting Hill Editions, that hug becomes so suffocating and bear-like that everyone feels awkward and then has trouble making eye-contact afterwards. But enough of this over-extended metaphor: look to the books!
Notting Hill have dedicated themselves to producing slimmish but book-length pieces of non-fiction, both new works and forgotten classics. The production values on their books are superb--stamped jacketless linen covers, sewn bindings, and two-colour internal printing with red ink used for chapter-opening drop capitals, page numbers and flourishes on the running headers.
Several of the many, MANY, MANY future-of-the-book-in-the-face-of-ebooks pieces that have been cropping up in newspapers and online recently have mentioned that the way for physical books to survive in the future may be for them to be beautifully made objects. Notting Hill Editions are doing this just right--the look and feel of their books remind me of the precepts set out by master printer/typographer Daniel Berkeley Updike in his lovely The Well-Made Book.
As you can see, most of the books make use of text-only covers...
..although the John Berger essay, Cataract, is illustrated inside and out by Selçuk Demirel.
So, fascinating books in lovely bodies. What more could you ask for, really?