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Collaborate to Automate

English publisher Faber & Faber wanted to breath new life into the sales of their out of print books. So Faber & Faber launched a new division called Faber Finds that utilizes printing on demand (POD), and in-house Art Director Darren Wall was charged with assembling a team to bring everything together. Michael C. Place of Build in London was hired to develop a custom font, B-HMMND, that consists of normal and alternative versions. Corey Holms, a graphic designer living in Fullerton, California, was brought in by Build to complete the character set, code and kern, and ultimately produce an OpenType typeface with stylistic alternatives. The font is used for the Faber Finds logotype and in the title of each book. Marian Bantjes, a designer extraordinaire living in Bowen Island, British Columbia, was hired to create border ornament elements that could be later automatically assembled into custom borders for four different genres of books. Karsten Schmidt of PostSpectacular in London constructed a “design machine” written in Processing, Java and PHP that combines Marian’s border elements and Michael’s typeface to automatically produce a theoretically infinite number of books on demand. Five people collaborating with technology from three different countries – is this a sign of a new more collaborative future?

Each collaborator (with the exception of Darren) has posted images and descriptions about their contributions to their respective websites:

B-HMMND Normal

B-HMMND Normal

B-HMMND Alternative

B-HMMND Alternative

Ornament by Marian Bantjes

Ornament by Marian Bantjes

Ornament divided into segments

Ornament divided into segments

Early sketch by PostSpectacular showing registration and symmetry points.

Early sketch by PostSpectacular showing registration and symmetry points.

Final Product

Final Product

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