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Have you seen the film of the book?


Posted by Mark Sinclair, 4 September 2009, 12:53    Permalink    Comments (11)

In a quirky marketing move, the Tate has created a couple of teaser films of two forthcoming art books: Peter Blake's ABC and 600 Black Spots, a pop-up book by David Carter (shown). Cute, yes – but viral? Probably not...

The clips, which reveal the contents of both books, are apparently an example of Tate "keeping up with emerging trends in video and viral marketing," as the press release somewhat hopefully states.

They might well become viral but, more to the point (and particularly in the case of the pop-up book), they're simply a rather nice way of giving readers a glimpse of the contents of illustrated books that are, otherwise, bought online fairly blindly.

Imagine if you could quickly flick through every illustrated book available in a gallery's online store, rather like you'd do in a bookshop. That's how we buy books in the real world – so isn't replicating that experience online a good idea?

It certainly gives the reader an idea of what they're getting for their money – more so than the usual series of spreads that most online design book retailers offer.

But maybe a version without a soundtrack is the way forward.

The tour of Carter's glorious 600 Black Spots is here...

...while the A-Z of Peter Blake's ABC is here:

Both books are available from the Tate's online shop, Blake's is here and Carter's, here.


"But maybe a version without a soundtrack is the way forward."

Oh, I think there's no "maybe" about it: the audio must die. I am madly covetous of the 600 Black Spots bit of deliciousness tho'.
Katy McDevitt
2009-09-04 14:11:59

Peter Blake's ABC, 1.55. is that an authentic viking sound bite?
Ian C
2009-09-04 14:24:49

600 Black Spots looks like a truly original concept... thanks for sharing.
web page designer
2009-09-04 14:49:02

cf. this video that did go viral (more than 1,000,000 views) of the very clever pop-up alphabet book ABC3D:

Whether they'd seen that or not, it does (like you say) make sense as a way of showing off the contents of an illustrated book.
2009-09-04 16:48:45

Ah yes, apropos Alan, I was going to refer to the same book. That must be where the inspiration came from - noone with an eye for art books could have missed it.

It's great to see books seeping into our cultural psyche in this way. I notice Faber are doing some impressive work in terms of design and marketing, as seen with this example:
Kristen Harrison
2009-09-05 13:08:47

There are loads of these 'vlog' style videos at the moment, mainly about magazines, and I have to say they work a lot better with a bit of narration. You can see some here... So, no, not a very original idea but nice to see the Tate responding to online trends.
Michael > Linefeed
2009-09-05 23:54:02

600 Black Spots has been out for TWO YEARS!
2009-09-08 14:37:10


As hardback. The one out this month is the paperback version.
CR Mark Sinclair
2009-09-08 14:52:30

I'm sure Peter Blake's book is beautiful but the video doesn't do it any favours – is the book bound? Seems to be flopping all over the place, is it poor book production or poor video production?
Rosamund Saunders
2009-09-08 16:24:32

And Ron King has been doing this for years...
2009-09-08 16:26:17


Yes, I thought it looked weird too. I think it might be a blad of the book, rather than an actual copy, but was probably only used because it was flexible enough!
CR Mark Sinclair
2009-09-08 16:34:45

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