By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Unique Variety of Artistic Books’Ingram Publisher Services has announced the additions of several illustrated book publishers to its roster of independent houses.
Based in Berlin, Brooklyn, Hamburg and Berkeley, and Chicago, they form a quartet of artistically driven literary presses that together, we find, make for interesting browsing of lists full of lush color and dramatic camera work.
In a prepared statement for the press on the announcement of these new partnerships, Ingram Publishing Services vice president and general manager, Mark Ouimet, is quoted, saying: “Each press offers its own unique variety of artistic books, collectively covering everything from photography and illustrations, to street art and graffiti.
“Our networks will help in expanding their reach, connecting them with more readers around the globe.”
The Publisher Services division stands beside Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source, VitalSource Technologies, Ingram Library Services, and Tennessee Book Company, all under the Ingram Content Group, the parent of which is Ingram Industries.
And starting first in Europe, one of the newly announced incoming publishers is Gestalten.
Based in Berlin, the staff of Gestalten (Shape) talks of beginning in a context of graphic design, growing the work over some 20 years to create what today they call “myriad observations of culture, people, art, and other intimate inspirational informants. We document and anticipate vital movements in architecture, visual culture, design and fashion, escapism, food and beverages, travel, and contemporary art.”
The company folded in content for young readers in 2014 with the addition of Little Gestalten, where we find them quoting George Bernard Shaw: “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
Gestalten has a lot of foreign-rights reach, its promotional material saying that it’s approaching 120 international markets with its content “on bookshop shelves, in museum shops, and a number of concept and specialty store.”
The company has an interesting “Creative Pool” approach, as well, in which its in-house staff works with independent talents.
Set on Guernsey Street in Brooklyn, Anthology Editions is an imprint of Mexican Summer, a record label, which isn’t surprising as you look at its offerings, many titles based in music and musical artists from Lou Reed to the Sex Pistols.
The press describes itself as “an exploratory endeavor that manifests pop culture heritage without limitation of genre or form.
“Anthology elevates a practice of archival preservation through responsibly licensed material, compelling design, and definitive presentation.”
A part of Trope Publishing in Chicago, Trop Reader is described as “a new boutique publishing platform integrating digital and print channels to enhance the narrative experience.
“Through visually stunning photography and captivating storytelling,” the promotional copy reads, “Trope Reader develops and produces high-quality, compelling books and periodicals, covering a variety of regional and international subjects.”
Edited by Sam Landers and Tom Maday, Trope’s output includes a series of “city editions” focused on imagery and impressions of London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, as well as a documentary, One Frame, about the work of the photographers behind the city editions.
The release of a new Trope Chicago Edition is set for October 1.
Perhaps the oldest of this new gang of four presses in Ingram’s stable, Gingko Press was established in Hamburg in 1985 by Mo Cohen and Julie von der Ropp. A Santa Rosa location was opened in 1991, followed by a move to Corte Madera in 1994, and finally to 2009 to today’s venue in Berkeley, California.
If the name rings a bell, it might be because in 1999, Gingko bought world rights to the work of Marshall McLuhan. They know something of his work.
In company materials, the press also references publishing ventures with Juxtapoz Magazine, ObeyGiant, Upper Playground, Victionary, and Kill Your Idols.
And the company still is active in its Germany homeland. “In 2005 Gingko Press Hamburg translated and published Black Sparrow’s Screams from the Balcony: The Letters of Charles Bukowski,” the company’s material says.
“In 2011, we published Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy in German (Die Gutenberg Galaxis) and in October 2018 we’ll publish a critical edition of McLuhan’s seminal work, Understanding Media, in German (Medien Verstehen).”