Bookbinders of London

Liz Jobey in The Financial Times has written a fascinating piece about photobooks and in particular, “Why photobooks are booming in the digital age”.

The article is a great read and highlights a cultural movement whereby lesser-known photographers and artists are producing short-run photographic books to help their work. Their photobooks are also being displayed in shops, albeit often for a very short period, but only because they are in such demand and can sell very quickly!

Of course, our photobooks here tend to be more for family photos, weddings, businesses etc., and for usually just 1 copy. However the article also highlights the general need from people for more physical objects in a digital age:

“Five years ago, when the first iPad was launched, might have been the time when photographic publishing began to migrate to the screen and leave the book behind. But so far, digital technology has acted as enabler, making it possible for individuals to design and print their own books. The attraction lies in the physical “book-object” itself.”

Despite technology providing us with such things as digital photo frames and hard-drives full of photos, we definitely find that people enjoy the look and feel of a physical book. We hear so many comments like, “it won’t break or take minutes to upload” and “flicking through pages with friends is just more enjoyable”.

In the article, Michael Mack of MACK Books was interviewed and said the following:

“What I came to realise is that where our market was expanding most, for MACK, was in the really young students, who were supposedly digital natives. They’re the ones – because their world is completely digital – who love the physical photobook”.

We love photobooks – for 1-copy runs for friends and families or for photographers/artists, and it’s great to see that they haven’t been forgotten in a digital age. If anything, digital technology has enabled us to print quicker and get photobooks published easier.


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