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Book Publishing and the New Media -This Is Not An E-book – The Getty’s “Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography”

August 8, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Book Publishing and the New Media – This is not an E-book

E-book sales have been in a steady decline because of high prices and lack of added value. Consumers have now come to realize that the e-book is merely a static copy of a paperback, without any additional content to add value. A pressing question, then, is “How Can Book Publishers Use the New Media to Enhance Readership and Increase Sales?” The Getty’s new publication, Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, is an excellent example of how it is done.

The Book

Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography  is a beautifully “illustrated survey of one hundred years of fashion photography. It includes more than three hundred photographs by the genre’s most famous practitioners as well as important but lesser-known figures, alongside a selection of costumes, fashion illustrations, magazine covers, and advertisements.” The cover itself is arresting, and immediately conveys the impression that the subject matter is Photography as Fine Art.

Icons of Style Getty Fashion Photography

The Website

The Getty’s website for the book is an excellent model for into the use of the New Media to market a print book in the digital age.  The Getty uses but a single page to present the book. This book is a model of some of the most important principles of digital design.

1. The page has a clean design, and a simple user interface.

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2. The page is designed specifically for the digital media. It is an impressive, but simple display of the depth of the book.

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3. Each of the selected 9 pages, can be enlarged to show the stunning detail and quality of the images in the book.

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4. The copy is well-written, and presents the importance of the book in a single paragraph.

“In the 1930s the photographer Martin Munkácsi pioneered a gritty, photojournalistic style. In the 1960s Richard Avedon encouraged his models to express their personalities by smiling and laughing, which had often been discouraged previously. Helmut Newton brought an explosion of sexuality into fashion images and turned the tables on traditional gender stereotypes in the 1970s, and in the 1980s Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts made male sexuality an important part of fashion photography. Today, following the integration of digital technology, teams like Inez & Vinoodh and Mert & Marcus are reshaping our notion of what is acceptable—not just aesthetically but also technically and conceptually—in a fashion photograph.”

5. The book lives!

By the incorporation of the video above, which also features pages turned by a human hand  so that both the book and its pages come alive.

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6. The provenance of the book and the credentials of the author are presented by live links to other publications of the author, enhancing the book’s credibility and importance.

“In 1911 the French publisher Lucien Vogel challenged Edward Steichen to create the first artistic, rather than merely documentary, fashion photographs, a moment that is now considered to be a turning point in the history of fashion photography.”


“Paul Martineau has curated numerous exhibitions at the J. Paul Getty Museum and is the author or coauthor of Herb Ritts: L.A. Style (Getty Publications, 2012), Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs (Getty Publications, 2016), and The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Getty Publications, 2016). ”

H/T ArtDaily




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