More and more publishing service providers are developing white label partnerships. We reported on two such partnership ventures last week; German booksellers alliance Tolino formed a self-publishing platform with Neobooks, and we also revealed that Books-A-Million’s (BAM) new publishing platform was powered by FastPencil. Well, these new ventures are coming thick and fast. Today DIY self-publishing platform Blurb announced it has inked a partnership deal with the Design Observer Group, an international online resource and publication dedicated to news and commentary about design, urbanism, social innovation, and visual culture.
As part of the partnership between Blurb and Design Observer, they have launched an initiative called Thesis Book Project which will ‘recognize exceptionally designed student books produced and printed on demand by Bachelor’s and Master’s degree candidates, to share their thesis books using the Blurb tools and platform.’ Design Observer certainly seems an ideal partnership fit for Blurb, which specialises in photographic and illustrated books.
We’re delighted to partner with Design Observer, one of the preeminent resources for graphic designers in the world. The Thesis Book Project is a great opportunity for graphic design students to present the culmination of their graduate work in beautifully printed and bound books. This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for emerging talent to showcase their work on a global scale.
— Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb
Blurb will also provide the white label publishing engine for a new Design Observer imprint which will publish several books later this year.
From the Press Release:
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blurb, Inc., the independent book and magazine publishing platform, today announced an important new partnership with Design Observer, the leading international online publication for news and commentary about design, urbanism, social innovation, and visual culture.
The partnership launches with the Thesis Book Project, an initiative to recognize exceptionally designed student books produced and printed on demand by Bachelor’s and Master’s degree candidates, to share their thesis books using the Blurb tools and platform.
“We’re delighted to partner with Design Observer, one of the preeminent resources for graphic designers in the world,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb. “The Thesis Book Project is a great opportunity for graphic design students to present the culmination of their graduate work in beautifully printed and bound books. This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for emerging talent to showcase their work on a global scale.”
“Our goal is to honor the student—as author and maker—and to elevate the importance of book design to engage a wider audience,” said Jessica Helfand, Creative Director of The Design Observer Group. “We’re thrilled to partner with Blurb with the launch of the Thesis Book Project. By collaborating with a company passionate about designers and books that are graphically beautiful, we are celebrating the Blurb-produced thesis book as an example of design excellence.”
For students in art and design disciplines, the thesis book represents a dazzling encapsulation of intense study: an entire body of work researched, crafted, written, designed, edited, and bound into a single volume. Along with Design Observer, Blurb encourages students to upload sample PDFs of their book. A link to Blurb will allow anyone to buy the final books, with all the proceeds going directly to the student designers.
Students can go to http://thesisbookproject.com/ for further details.
The partnership between Design Observer and Blurb will feature many future projects, including several books published under a new Design Observer imprint powered by Blurb’s publishing platform to be released later this year.
Blurb® was founded on the premise that everyone – not just the talented few – should be able to publish, share, and distribute beautifully realized digital and print books with first class production values. Whether creating books for friends and family, for business colleagues and prospects, or for global audiences who may wish to buy your book, Blurb’s platform is built for you. By creating a business model that enables the company to profit on a unit of one, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to everyone who has access to a computer and a story to tell.
Blurb’s independent publishing platform offers the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute, and sell both digital and print books. Further, Blurb puts book creators in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright™, an Adobe InDesign® plugin and Adobe Lightroom® integration, a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools.
Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via more than 1.2 million book authors, resulting in 3.5 million unique book titles so far.
About The Design Observer Group
Design Observer is widely recognized as the best editorial site about design in the world. It has been nominated for seven Webby Awards: five times nominated for Best Culture Blog and twice nominated for Best Writing on the internet (against The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired and The New Yorker). It has twice been nominated for Online Journalism Awards by the Online News Association. It is regularly featured in the press, including Print Magazine, GOOD Magazine, Architects Newspaper, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, Men’s Vogue, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and many more.
Since its inception in 2003, Design Observer has committed to well-written, long-form essays and journalism in an online environment. Over the past 12 years, Design Observer has found a receptive and engaged audience that extends far beyond its initial following of graphic design enthusiasts.