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We work with many creators and professionals who have something to say or explain and we are always hungry for more knowledge.
So if you have a nugget of wisdom or fun, or if you know someone who would like to reach thousands of children through our website, digital or printed publication, why not get in touch
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I subscribe to Good magazine and I read a short article called ‘We Should Probably Turn Text Books in to Comic Books‘ by writer Liz Dwyer. In ti the writer points out that the debate about books being physical or digital might actually be a side issue: more important, according a to university study is ensuring that “the academic content within the book is in a format that’s going to help students retain more information.”
It reminded me of a time, decades ago, when I was very enthusiastic about designing educational books and material for young people. I was particularly keen to introduce a comic book look or feel to heavy subjects. PErhaps my skills were n;t honed enough, or the time wasn’t right, but I never managed to convince anyone else that this was not only a good idea but also a beneficial one top the young learners. I didn’t want to create super heroes to describe a mathematical formula or anything like that, but It was clear that children and young people respond very well to comic strips. This is probably because the comics are very well thought out tools of communication with very little wastage of bot words and pictures. Whatever is in these books works very hard to tell the story. Perhaps 20 years ago they were not thought of in this way.
As the graphic novel makes its way into the mainstream, surely this is the future of both printed and digital publishing? It works well on both platforms without adaptation. Could it also be the future of educational publishing for younger children too? It will need authors, experts and illustrators to work from the same script, something which is not always possible. Egos get in the way, as do time and money.
Wouldn’t be great, though? The result would be well though out mini plays, window by window, explaining the mysteries of science and literature to hungry and appreciative young minds.
So my request this week is this; Are you an illustrator, writer, teacher, editor or designer keen to work on such a project? If so, get in touch and let’s start conversation…
Working with text and pictures.
The text is written and the layouts are nearly done. The working tittle is above. Here are sketches showing the treatment of the text which, to me, should be almost illustrated. The final exploration will be to bring type and image much closer together.
Recently, agents and publishers have asked for more finished presentation of book ideas. I have to admit to refusing to do this. It takes blood, sweat and tears! The reward is often a rejection with little or no explanation. It is an understandable development, though. Many people want to be published and there are not enough publishing lists is one reason.
Self publishing has opened a door of opportunity for the brave ones. It will take a little while longer to find the best way to do this with kids books, in my view, as they are still more expensive to produce.
We have a few t-shirts for sale at http://www.mysoti.com/mysoti/designer/DesignTribe. This is one of our best ones designed by Chaz Maviyane-Davies.
Zimbabwean born GRaphic designer Chaz Maviyane-Davies lives and teaches in the US. He challenges his students to avoid being proponents of “homogenized blandness” – the practice of embracing technology to the detriment of our idiosyncratic visual languages. The result being uniform mediocrity. He extends this challenge in particular, to his fellow Africans:
“It’s about breaking down and finding the inherited, mythically infused iconography and then rebuilding it in order to fit the feeling and nature of where we are now. The tone, rhythm and depth of our identity is special and can be used to talk to each other today. And we have to use that visual language to slowly try to bring some of our personality and presence into the design arena.”
(sources: http://www.afri-love.com & AIGA.org)
You can find out more about his work on his website;