Bring Books to SXSW Interactive

Books are an ancient technology, and you’ve got to admit, they really hold up. But that doesn’t stop us from exploring the book medium in ways that are only possible because of recent technological advances. What new tools have the potential to make what’s great about books even greater, and which ones distract from the perfection of ink on paper? Also, how does one adapt a brick and mortar/ink and paper business to a digital environment?

Chronicle Books and friends have submitted 3 panels to South by Southwest Interactive, a conference in Austin, Texas every year dedicated to creativity and innovation. We think we’ll fit right in, but we need your help to catch the eye of the organizers. If you think there should be a place for the following topics in one of the world’s biggest convenings about the future of media, please click on the title and vote for it. Public (that’s you!) opinion is a big factor in determining which talks are chosen. Here are the talks we’ve cooked up this year:

Art + Brand: How to Collaborate Without Losing your Soul

Artists on one side, brands on the other—they need each other like peanut butter and jelly, yet worry they might secretly be as incompatible as oil and water. Artist, illustrator, author, and entrepreneur Lisa Congdon joins Chronicle Books editor Bridget Watson Payne in conversation about how creatives and brands can come together without compromising creative vision or core values. Using their own fruitful long-term author/editor relationship as a case study, Lisa & Bridget offer a deep dive into working together. From the exciting alchemy good collaborations can generate to the frank yet harmonious working through of divergences in vision, the artist/brand relationship will be illuminated.

Paper Innovation: What Can a Book Be?

A daily journal with room for only one line, a love story with envelopes to peek into, a book that’s a planetarium…and an instrument…and a spirograph…Chronicle Books has built a business playfully pushing the boundaries of book and product design and finding ways to say yes to challenging ideas from some of the world’s most creative people. In this time of screen fatigue when tangible objects hold renewed interest, we will share lessons from a history of innovating with paper (color cookbooks—shocking!), insights on the future of print, and how to navigate production challenges to make never-before-seen things happen.

Brand Not Born Online: Baking Digital Strategy into Your DNA

With new apps and sites being born every day, how does a heritage brand bring its legacy to life online and feel authentically digital? Join Rachel Albright, Director of Creative Marketing & Content at Urban Outfitters (founded in 1970) and Alison Presley, Assoc. Director of Online Strategy at Chronicle Books (founded in 1967) for a session on how to engineer digital into your brand’s DNA. We’ll cover how to produce high-quality content for all your online channels (web, email, and social), how to get internal teams to think digitally, how to connect brick-and-mortar experiences with digital communities and campaigns, and how to appeal to digital natives.

Even if you can’t join us in Austin, we will be writing blogs on these topics and sharing them here and on Medium. We love thinking about the past, present, and future of books, and sharing our insights with you. Help us keep the conversation going!


Above image of The Thing the Book courtesy of The Thing Quarterly

Kathryn Jaller

Kathryn Jaller

Previous Associate Director of online strategy at Chronicle Books and art/craft/cat lady. You can follow her at @kholler.
Kathryn Jaller

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