Media XXI is an independent academic publisher from Portugal, with focus on communication sciences, media studies, creative industries and business management. From 2021 to 2022, I’ve collaborated with them to improve the design of their books, and help them manage the brand.
Roles for the brand
• Editorial Designer
• Communications Designer
• Editorial Assistant Manager
• Editorial Designer: design of new books — including their best-seller to date —, systematize formats and typography.
• Communications Designer: logotype redesign, social media contents, new website design.
• Editorial Assistant Manager: communication with key stakeholders, management of book launches, catalogue and distribution channels.
Due to Media XXI being a small publisher, there are important limitations. On the budgetary side, I was mostly limited to black-and-white paperbacks. Other challenges were results of changes in the team, project’s schedule and the difficulty of managing information and book from a publishing house that is more than a decade old and has over 200 titles available.
On the design side, I was able to improve the quality of cover designs, increase legibility, readability, and the quality of the ebooks. By enhancing the reading experience, I started to add value to the brand and help it gain market positions. My typographic knowledge also allowed me to reshape formats and specifications, making the books between 10–15% more economical.
Other important contributions included communicating, negotiating and aligning expectations with authors and team, especially proofreading and printing schedules. Lastly, but also worth mentioning, was my management of their catalogue. I was able to identify missing information, organize assets and design new catalogues with updated information, exercising XML automation in InDesign to stay productive.
Although I’ve always been good at time management and quality control, I’ve personally experienced the importance of those skills to the publishing industry through the management side. Moreover, the academic publishing sector is facing a lot of financial challenges and a demographic shift, therefore, it was a great challenge to try and equalize different expectations between authors, publisher, experienced and younger readers.