Studio Culture

A visit to Four Corners Books.

Front door
Front door

First impressions

A short walk to the publishers studio and we were faced with a beautiful little street, with craved architecture at each turn. A wonderful scene which set the tone of our visit. We were greeted by Richard and Elinor, I instantly got a vibe that they loved what they do. The office they worked was a great representation of the streets outside. Hand crafted, plastered, wood crafted decoration at each corner of the room, took the eye off the moody cream colour of the walls and ceilings. Not my idea of a creative working space, but yet had a calm feeling, that could set you in mood for focused activities without to much distraction.

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Decoration within the office/studio
Decoration within the office/studio

The publishers introduced themselves, and set out some publications for us to gaze at. Richard and Elinor, spoke briefly about their backgrounds and i could not wait to dive in with some questions. They spoke about particular books they had published, and about the connections they shared with the projects and designers they took on.

Display of publications
Display of publications

Questions and answers

Myself and other students asked various questions:

I asked, Do you have much influence do you have over the design of the book and the finished product? 

“Yes, a lot” replied Richard, who went on to say, “We have a select team of people that we have meetings with and have talks about how the books needs to look. We are particular about what artworks or designs go into the book that we get from the artists, and we determine the decisions to get the best out of the book, and finished product.”

Richard
Richard

A fellow student asked; Does your studio or environment have an effect on on how you work?

Both taking a minute to think, Elinor replied “This is a difficult question. It helps to be in the same room as Richard, and I hope he feels the same.” She laughed. “but we do like to venture out of the studio, we have been on visits to reading and manchester, and sometimes it helps just to get out of the office, away from the screen, to help you think and get inspired by other surroundings. Yet, having a place to sit quietly and just focus on the task at hand is vital”.

Elinor
Elinor

I asked, In terms of cost, are there some projects that must have a specific type of finish, regardless of the cost?

Richard replied “there are always limitations with cost, and finished products. You can never say cost doesn’t matter. However, there was one brief we got which asked for ‘rose scented ink’. The cost of this ink would have been the overall cost of the book itself, so sometimes it is not at all worth it. But there are times when you do add on little elements, if you know the reader will appreciate them, and they feel that it is worth the overall price of the book. for example, a ribbon or a holographic stickers. But sometimes its best not to use an extremely high quality paper, because it’s difficult to establish to the consumer why, therefore becomes irrelevant”

Outside of Four Corners Books
Outside of Four Corners Books

 

Reflection

The experience of going to a publishers was very educational and inspiring. The answers they gave were exactly what I was looking for. An insight between publishers and designers, and what to expect when wanting something published and distributed. The studio felt more like an office, therefore it was not my idea of a ‘great working environment’ however, venturing out for inspiration is essential to anyone practice and I hope to do that more within my third year of study.

Answers to the questions I have given were from what I recalled and note taking.

 

 

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