On 20 June, emc design hosted BookMachine Unplugged 2018: Talking Design at The Driver, Kings Cross, London.  It was part of a series of exciting BookMachine events that aim to explore what is currently happening in the world of publishing.




The evening focused on the visual trends emerging from outside of publishing and are borne from the technology around us. The expert guest speakers for the evening were Chris Evans (@sherry_design), Creative Director of Sherry Design, Karen Haller (@KarenHaller), Applied Colour Psychology Practitioner, Consultant and Teacher, and our very own Director, Sophie O’Rourke (@sophie_orourke @emcdesignltd).

Chris was first up and gave the audience a pragmatic and insightful overview of flat design 1.0 and 2.0 and the benefits and challenges it presents. He shared with the audience that the benefits include simplicity, strong visual aesthetic and flexible grids and the challenges include the audience and the effectiveness of flat design in print. Chris provided a helpful reminder that the audience should always come first, and we must always design with the end user in mind.

Sophie was up next and delivered a thought-provoking presentation detailing the development of photography from the 1800s to 2000s and discussed the prominence of social media platforms. Sophie’s research focused on the popular social media platform Instagram, and included an overview of its number of users, followers, the impact of influencers, the most used filter in 2017 and the most liked post. She also reviewed current design trends on Instagram that publishers could incorporate into how they use this powerful platform.

Karen was the final speaker of the evening and delivered a fascinating talk about how colour influences psychological responses, particularly when consumers are making purchasing decisions. This included a discussion on past and current colour trends and how consumers are becoming more colour savvy.

The audience questions that followed proved just how relevant clever design is to our industry and how important the end user is in our publishing decisions. We should always be on the lookout for new and relevant ways to connect with our audience through visual trends and technology.

BookMachineOur take home tip of the evening comes from Karen Haller, who encouraged us to “keep on learning, stay hungry and stay curious”.

We’d like to say a big thank you to BookMachine for organising the event. For more information about future BookMachine events, please visit:

Keep an eye out for an in-depth look at the topics discussed in a future blog post!