On 21 April 2016, the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) hosted a Cover Design Workshop with small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME’s) participating in the Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme (ILPP).
The workshop entailed a combined session and one-on-one work with the SMME publishers. A background on cover design was given; including the purpose of the cover, content imperatives on the front and back covers as well as on the spine. The basic structure, proportions and dimensions, size of barcode etc. were also a focus point. Image balance and proportion as well as text placement on a cover were discussed. A graphic designer then worked with the SMME designer and/or publisher on each book in the ILPP and continued working with them after the workshop.
In the absence of a book policy, or development support for SMME’s, these enterprises, entrepreneurs and freelancers (designers, editors, typesetters, translators), find it very difficult to survive in the small South African market. Quality is often compromised due to a lack of adequate support and development funds to for example purchase design software.
The sustainability of these enterprises is essential as they bring diversity to the outputs of the book sector. They are also localized and in touch with their communities. Skill development in marginalized communities is therefore critical for the book industry in order to bring diversity in product to the South African reader.
The SABDC can ‘pair’ enterprise development, skills development and social development opportunities through the ILPP and National Book Week (NBW), offering an effective model for partnerships in the book industry to companies looking to implement the BBBEE scorecard. This approach will be explored and communicated in future newsletters