It is a curious thing, publishing books. I’ve never been sure if it is more art or science; either way, there is no doubt that both are involved, and one without the other amounts to naught.
Access to literature has come a long way since early handwritten manuscripts, thanks to moveable type and the printing press, largely attributed to Johannes Gutenberg. The “technology” Gutenberg leveraged was his own trade of blacksmithing. This is as far from being a scribe as you could imagine—metal versus paper, a loud, hot workshop versus the quiet library environment.
It is unknown how or why Gutenberg formalised the concept of moveable type and the printing press, but it is an early example of “disruption” by someone “outside of the business”.
Guy van der Kolk Senior Solutions Consultant, Typefi
Almost five years ago, I learned about my first major project as a fresh Typefi employee: I was to implement a multilingual, multi-format accessible workflow at a specialised agency of the United Nations. No pressure!
Fortunately, I am multilingual, and had a lot of experience with multiple formats, but I had no idea what this accessibility thing was all about.
Needless to say, the learning curve was high. However, I did not have to go at it alone: colleagues had done some of this work before, and the internet is a veritable treasure trove of information.
Now, after five years of helping Typefi customers successfully implement accessible publishing workflows, I have learnt a thing or two about accessible publishing challenges—and how to overcome them—that I would like to share with you.
These annual awards, part of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, recognise outstanding leadership and achievements in advancing the accessibility of digital publications for persons who are print disabled.