Yesterday, design publisher Unit Editions launched a brand new website. With the launch came a beautiful selection of new products including several posters, Design/Research 03: ThreeSix and the long awaited Unit 02 book ‘Supergraphics’. The website takes on a new colour scheme and format, that creates further emphasis on the product and makes for a smoother more refined user experience than its predecessor.
Beautiful publications and shiny websites aside, an interesting new blog post was added, simply titled ‘Unit Editions: A new direction’…
‘This new website marks a change of direction for Unit Editions. We are still committed to producing high quality books on graphic design and visual culture. But in recognition of the changing conditions within bookselling – Amazon discounts that are great for book buyers but fatal for small publishers; the demise of the traditional bookshop; the rise of e-publishing – we are working towards building a new publishing model for the internet age. This means two main changes: – our books, posters and papers will no longer be available through conventional bookshops (physical or online). They will only be available from this website – we are investigating and experimenting with electronic publishing formats
It is our belief that although the seismic changes in publishing represent dangers, they also throw up opportunities. Five years ago, Unit Editions would not have been possible without substantial investment. Yet now, thanks to the networking channels that exist online, it is possible for a small publishing “unit” to launch, survive and even, in a small way, thrive.’
We here at Process cannot help to feel a little bit excited by this. As a small independent publisher ourselves, whilst we have had a relatively smooth road and currently do not deal with distribution of traditional hardcover books, we are certainly familiar with the politics and complications of publication distribution.
It is refreshing to see that Unit Editions have taken their thinking and concept of the ‘hybrid’ publishing platform to the next level. After reading several articles in last few months aboutAmazon bullying small publishers, this announcement has brought big smiles to our faces. Although I’m sure many readers will miss being able to pickup Unit Editions publications in their favourite bookstore, I think it is a small price to pay for an overall giant step in a new (and better) direction. It is decisions like these that are leading the way for small publishers, who are forced to re-think conventional methods in the ‘internet’ age. Put simply; a decision like this takes balls, and on that Unit Editions, we congratulate you.