Back in January of this year, Clive Thompson wrote a particularly interesting and – albeit short – informative commentary around the phenomenon of micro manufacturing and the rise of the popularity of bespoke, small run, tailored material goods.
This viewpoint around material goods explains in one sense why I refuse to get an iPhone – aside from the fact that the battery life is poor (a real problem for me) the whole office has them and I just don’t want to slide into that clone like Utopian existence. They laugh at me with my Blackberry, but, well its tough to convert the zealots at the best of times. Just ask the U.S. and talk about the middle east “problem”. I also acknowledge that I’m being obstinate and stubborn about the whole thing too. I’m happy with my Blackberry, leave me alone.
So, addressing this micro manufacturing phenomenon for the world of books and literature, is this neat website Blurb.
A friend of mine, Jess Edgar who is a photographer is using these guys to indulge in her own little bout of micro manufacturing and creating a “just as she wants” book titled “Behind the Curtain” which will showcase her photography and illustrate her deft image capture skills. Selection of paper quality, type of cover and aesthetic layout are all covered by Blurb’s website.
Navigating around, it’s a proper old fashioned service based business which delivers bespoke product but has successfully transformed itself into a web enabled – and flourishing – business. What I particularly like about blurb is that you can purchase books that have been micro manufactured by people from all around the world across a range of different topics. There is a real opportunity to purchase as near as unique commercial quality items as is possible in this modern day and age of mass consumerism.
The possibilities this represents are endless and really open up the horizons on what a thoughtful and tailored present can represent.
Check it out.