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一日工作室 A Day in Da Studio x Unit Editions

April 2, 2019

 

 

「我們的模式是以小本經營地去做美麗的書籍,而這些書籍都是經過縝密的研究並且以設計美麗的外觀呈現。如果走傳統途徑,我們絕對無法有此成果。」

 

“Our model is to make beautiful books at relatively low runs, that are really well-researched and really beautifully-produced. We wouldn’t be able to that if we were doing it conventionally.”

 

藏身在南倫敦的巷弄中,Unit Editions沒有實體店面,在網路上販售著你在大通路上完全買不到的設計書籍。
 
書籍設計師怎麼去釐清思考流程?
如果你剛好是一位書籍設計師,你曾想過出版的未來嗎?
讓我們聽聽創辦人之一Tony Brook的創立理念以及對書籍的想像。​

 

 

TB: Tony Brook (co-founder of Unit Editions)

JT: Design Weekly interviewer

 

 

 

JT: 在出產一本書的過程中,你從哪裡得到靈感,或是哪些書籍讓你有所啟發?

TB: 常常是我跟Adrian我們會一起討論一些主題。我們的想法是:假設我們認為他們會成就一本好書,那一定也有人這麼認為;而到目前為止,我們都證明是對的。即使這個書並不全然地或是看起來是一本大家會喜歡的書。像我們就做了很多本使用手冊。在1960、1970及1980年代,大公司通常會製作大型使用手冊給早期的設計師們方向去應用他們的識別標誌。聽起來很無聊而且很嚴肅,但我一直都很喜歡他們,而且認為他們會出版成一本很棒的書。但我沒辦法確信說人們對他真的會有興趣,單純出於認為這是一個很重要的主題罷了。但使用手冊一直在我們的銷售排名中。所以你真的什麼都說不準,我們只能追隨我們所相信並且認為是重要的議題去製作了。

 

完全沒有規則可言,你永遠無法知道什麼會成功而什麼不會。

你永遠不會知道這個的答案,唯一能做的就是去嘗試。

 

JT: What are the inspirations or books that you have to produce a specific book?

TB: Well quite often there are subjects that me or Adrian, we discussed them, 

What we figured is that, if we think they’re gonna make great books, then there’s somebody there that’s gonna think that too; and so far, we’ve been proved so right. Even when the books that weren’t necessarily, obviously books that you would think that people would like. Like we did a couple of books that were user manuals. So in the bigger identity of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, you would always do a big user manual for early designers to use to show how to apply it. So it sounds really dry and serious, but I have always really liked them, and thought they’d really make a great book. But I didn’t have confidence that people would really buy them, I just thought that would really be an important subject. But it has been one of our best sellers. So you just never know, really. But we can only go by making books that we really believe in and we think are important. 

 

There are no rules, you can never tell that what’s gonna be successful or what’s not gonna be. You don’t know, you just have to try it.

 

 

 

JT: 這樣說的話,即使Unit Editions經過了八年的營運,仍然一而再地重複試驗階段嗎?

TB: 沒錯。你知道在某種程度上...比如說我們被一家現存的出版社告知說沒有人會買專書,也就是沒有人願意買有關設計師的故事。這個說法或許在你想賣兩萬本書的前提下成立,但我們只賣兩千本。而且我們最暢銷的書籍之一一直都是專書。因此,人們喜愛設計師的故事,而閱讀這種書也成為讀者們在職業生涯上的借鏡,包括這些設計師怎麼做以及如何達到目標。

 

JT: That being said, after eight years of Unit Editions, are there still a lot of trials?

TB: Yeah, I’d say so. You know at some degree that, say, we were told by an establishing publisher that nobody bought monographs, so nobody bought books about designers. Now, that might be true if you want to sell 20,000 copies, but we only make 2,000 copies. And our biggest sellers has always been monographs. So people love the stories of designers, and it’s a great example for their own careers to read about other designer’s stories, of what they did and how they did it.

 

 

 

JT: 之前有一些理論或是說法討論說書可能會會在未來完全消失,你怎麼看這件事情的?

TB: 完全相反,書籍扮演的角色跟人們的想像完全不一樣。我的理由建立在很安全的事實上,舉例來說Unit Editions賣書給中國、日本、智利、阿根廷等等的國家,也就是全世界。我們從這裡(倫敦)賣書到世界上不同的國家。所以沒有科技,Unit Editions永遠不會存在。而這個就證明了書籍是人們所推論的相反。

 

JT: There has been theories or talks about books might be dead in near future, what do you think about that?

TB: We’d say that it has done the total opposite of what people, I think, suggestively might, for a safe example, Unit Editions, we sell books to people in China, Japan, Chile, Argentina. So all over the world. All over the world our books were sold…from here. So Unit Editions could’ve never existed without technology. So it’s done the exact opposite of what people thought it would do.

 

 

 

 

 

JT: 關於Unit Editions只在網站上賣書這件事情,實體書本與科技的衝突曾經發生過嗎?

TB: 沒有,他們其實都可以發生在同一個時空。你可以坐在臥室裡上EURoid並閱讀電子書、你可以決定要買書,並且你真的可以在上面購買,並可以略過去實體書店的步驟。我們有賣一些書在實體書店,書店是一個很美麗的存在,我們並不是排斥實體書店。而是我們唯一能生存的條件就是不經由傳統途徑經營出版業。藉由在網路上販售書籍,我們不需要再等一年才能收取賣書的金額,假設我們遵循傳統出版業程序,這樣的狀況就會發生。世界某地的人在我們的網站上一買了一本書,整個過程就會馬上完成;他們付費,我們寄書,就是這麼簡單。假設我們遵循舊有的方式,我們就必須付錢給集散方、書店等等。很多的內在成本就會回頭加在書上,而就剩下不夠多的預算去製作書以及印刷它。

 

我們的模式是以小本經營地去做美麗的書籍,而這些書籍都是經過縝密的研究並且以設計美麗的外觀呈現。如果走傳統途徑,我們絕對無法有此成果。

 

JT: So Unit Editions only sells book on your website. has the conflict between books(physical) and technology ever occurred to you?

TB: No, they both enable to happen. You could sat in your bedroom in EURoid, and see the books online, and you could decide you want to buy one, then you can buy it, you don’t have to go to a bookshop. We do sell at some bookshops, bookshops are wonderful things, we’re not against bookshops, they’re wonderful. But the only way that we could survive is by not going through the conventional route of book publishing. So by selling online, we don’t have to wait for a year before we get the money for the book that was sold, which is if we were to do it conventionally. As soon as whatever part of the world buys a book on our website, then it got the process done immediately: they give us the money, we send the book. It’s very simple. If we were doing it conventionally, we’d have to pay for the distribution, the bookshop….etc. Lots of inner costs, that is going to a book, so there’s not much left for you to make your book and print it.   

 

Our model is to make beautiful books at relatively low runs, that are really well-researched and really beautifully-produced. We wouldn’t be able to that if we were doing it conventionally.   

 

 

影片訪談 Video Interview : http://yt1.piee.pw/GJQLB

 

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