Print on Demand

Moleskine and Paper Make the Digital to Physical Transition.

If you are an iPad user, you are probably familiar with sketching and not taking apps like Paper and Taposé. Both apps allow you to sketch, write notes, and grab images in sketchbook form. Paper has teamed up with Moleskine to take the popular iOS app a step further.


53 the Paper developer and Moleskine now offer the option to print your digital sketch book and have it mailed anywhere in the world. What a great idea. The accordion bound book is a physical extension of it’s digital counterpart. It is a memento. It is a hand crafted object that transitions the digital/physical divide, and from a business perspective it builds brand awareness for both companies.

Almost but Not Quite. KLM Must See Map, no App.

KLM has been a big participant in promotional marketing campaigns grounded in social media for sometime. The video below shows the latest from the Dutch airline. The “Must See Map” is built on suggestions of things to do, and places to see from friends responses to a social media query. It asks the traveler to simply ask friends in their social network where they have been and what they have done, then gathers all of this information into a single source.

What is great about this campaign is the fact that KLM will send you a print on demand high-res physical map. What I don’t like is the fact that the map will take 3 weeks to arrive, and there is no dedicated smartphone app. The free online site does a great job of integrating with all of the major social network players, allowing the traveler to gather vast amounts of tips but offers no dedicated smartphone app.

While the physical map is a cool souvenir for your trip, and ties to all the places your socially networked friends tell you to go; it is quite surprising that KLM didn’t take this one step further. A dedicated app is much easier to carry and use than a physical printed map. A dedicated app allows for recommendations to come to you long after the map is printed. A dedicated app allows the traveler to post feedback on friends recommendations. A dedicated app, takes the concept to a whole new level, and extends use far beyond the interaction of the website.


This is a great concept, and I hope that KLM goes a little further with it. KLM currently has 10 apps that they have developed for the iPhone, so I could see them taking this to a whole new level. When they do, “Must See Map” will be a home run.

Google’s First Magazine.

Google has launched a new magazine entitled “Think Quarterly”. The magazines purpose is according to Google, “to create breathing space in a busy world.” This is a  limited-edition quarterly book for Google that brings together some of the world’s leading minds to discuss the issues facing businesses today.

This is the first installment of this quarterly magazine.  It features a bespoke cover tailored to the individual recipient, a slipcase, presentation box and a pop-up chart.

Using print on demand technologies and produced in collaboration with Google, Think Quarterly will be delivered to the UK’s leading chief executives. The magazine is curated by Google, designed and edited by The Church of London, it brings together world-leading data experts including Hans Rosling, Simon Rogers and Nigel Shadbolt to discuss how data is re-shaping modern business. The magazine is visually stunning and well put together, with solid layouts, photography, illustration and type.

In addition to the physical magazine,Think Quarterly is available as a rich Flash application with Google’s unique viewpoint and an in-depth writing style that you would expect to find in Business Week or Salon.

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Design Friday Part 2, How Did I Miss This?

OK this is pretty awesome, and I wish I would have found it sooner. How I missed it is beyond  me but now that I have found it I am going to use it. PDF to Book is an online application from Blurb that allows anyone to get published. The application works much like the iPhoto applications book feature on the Mac, but unlike Apple’s application you are not required to use the pre-designed templates. You can in fact upload any file that you have made into a PDF and they will print a hardbound copy of your book for you.

PDF to Book gives you full creative reign over the bookmaking process. You can make a bookstore-quality book in any of their book sizes, papers and cover types, which is pretty amazing. The thing I like about this is as a designer I have total control over the book I build, but if you are not a designer, or feel your creative skills are lacking, Blurb provides you with the tools you need to create something that looks  good.

Hard Cover prices run from just under 25 dollars to just under 75 depending on the page count, hard cover or soft, and if you get a dust jacket or not. The software works on both Windows and Macintosh computers, and the website is filled with tons of helpful tips for getting the best results out of your project.

I think I see a photo book about my trip to South Africa getting made this weekend.