Mobile Bookshop with Special Story

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“Because we believe there’s no better way to remember a journey than by a book. And that nothing makes one travel more than reading.”… That’s the reason why ‘Tell a Story’ came to live, a mobile bookshop that sells translated Portugese literature to non-Portugese speakers. The main objective: to promote Portugal as a country of stories and great storytellers! I’m in love with this project!!

During summer, the mobile bookshop travels to some of Portugal’s popular tourist spots to sell Portuguese literature by authors like Saramago, de Queiroz, and Pessoa. I really like how they executed the branding with all these lovely stationary-items, also for sale in the bookshop.

Another cool thing: the team created a typeface, called ‘Writers’ Font’, based on the handwriting of the featured Portuguese authors to “inspire you to write like them”. What a great idea in this age of computers and smart phones!

Trends For Freelance Writers

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Will we all be freelancing soon? It was this question, asked in a radio-show, that got to me. People and companies increasingly opt for project-based relationships instead of more permanent ones. An area changing fast in that direction, is the writing industry. I’m a freelance writer myself and I work with a lot of journalists/writers in my graphic jobs. Below some trends that got people talking and will definitely influence freelance writers in 2014.

1. Data-journalism: Journalists will shift from hunter/gatherer style to a mode of interpreting big data. Before, when information was scarce, most efforts were devoted to finding the actual story. That is changing rapidly since data-sets become available to anyone now. Getting the information is not the problem anymore, but processing it is more important than ever. The role of writers? They are interpreters, who are able to give the, much needed, sense an structure in the never ending flow of data.

2. Visual storytelling: We can help people process data not only by making interpretations, but also by focussing more on presentation. Visual tools are must-haves these days in communicating what’s important and relevant to the consumer. More infographics and data visualizations are shown in traditional media and on the web. Very useful to update your skills in that area or… work closely together with designers.

3. Content is King: Companies are becoming publishers. They are creating news websites and other online content as part of their marketing strategies and… they are hiring freelancers to do the work. Whether you call it brand journalism or content marketing the opportunities this trend poses for freelance writers, have never been better.

4. Niche Magazines: Are magazines dead? According to , they’re more alive than ever. He launched 870 new titles last year only. Many new titles are niche publications. His advice for writers: specialize as much as you can in certain topics.

5. Writers going Indie: Freelance pay rates are getting lower and lower. Given these conditions, it’s not surprising that journalists are becoming entrepreneurs by launching startups or writer communities, that they write crowdfunded articles instead of selling to a publisher, monetize a blog by charging readers, or give self-publishing a shot. Lots of alternative possibilities out there.

Bookdesign: Healthy Living in Shanghai

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The timing was perfect. I received mail from Shanghai. The book I’ve been working on this summer about healthy living in Shanghai, is printed so I was reading it in the worst smog-week China has seen in a long time. How ironic.

Shools were closed, air-traffic was down and models even had to wear face-masks during an outdoor fashion show (looked so ridiculous along with their fancy clothes). It’s a hot topic… hopefully all the attention will make policy-makers act and initiate real changes!

Hike & Read Book Sleeves

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I worked on the new Summer ‘Hike & Read’ selection today for The Bookshop in Mui Wo. We featured some lovely secret places in Hong Kong. Read Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach’ in a natural infinity pool or Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘Fearful Symmetry’ at a beautiful Victorian cemetery. Come and get your summer reads this weekend at our place, you’ll have our Hong Kong secrets as a bonus;-)

Comforting Illustrations

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Have you ever drawn comfort from images? I do… strange as it may sound, it really relaxes me somehow. One of the illustrators that has this therapeutic effect on me is Jon Klassen, a Canadian writer and illustrator of children’s books and an animator. He was also the art director for the awesome animated music video of I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight by U2. Have a look at his wonderful, dreamy work and ‘breath in’ some comforting colors and bright, inspiring images. It helps you make it through a (hard) day, I promise you;-)!

Infographic: Colorfulness of Books

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Artist and designer Jaz Parkinson created a wonderful art project called ‘Colour Signatures’. Famous novels are presented in a form of posters/book covers, where color spectrums are a reference to colors used in novels’ content.

Jaz explains more how the colors are found: ‘For example when it might say ‘yellow brick road,’ ‘yellow’ gets a tally, or when for example in The Road it says ‘dark ash covered everything’ (not an actual quote), that image evokes dark grey instantly in the mind, so dark grey gets a tally.’

According to Parkinson, The Little Prince is the most romantically colored chart so far. I like how his visualizations can tell you in a completely new way how ‘dark’ or ‘fresh’ a certain story is. Fascinating! (via)