To introduce the Unseen Dummy Award 2017, we are delighted to present a series of interviews with the jury members. The series begins with a conversation with Paul van Mameren, managing director of Lecturis, who will publish the winning dummy.
Paul van Mameren (1962) studied Graphics and Technical Business studies in Eindhoven. He has worked in project management, software consultancy and as a managing director in the graphic printing industry since 1987. He has been managing director at Lecturis publishers based in Eindhoven and Amsterdam since 2010 and is a member on the board at the Wim Crouwel institute.
Q: How would you describe the photobook publishing you do at Lecturis?
A: At Lecturis we publish art and design books, as well as photobooks. Our main focus is to produce a broad spectrum of photobooks that have a high quality of content, design and production. We publish work from unknown, emerging and established photographers.
Q: What is your best-selling photobook and why do you think it has been so successful?
A: Our Ed van der Elsken books have been very successful due to the recent exhibitions of his work, the fact that he is well known and because of the recent surge in popularity of his photographic style.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your collaboration with Wilco Art Books?
A: Since we no longer do our own printing at Lecturis, we have collaborated with Wilco Art Books, who do their own lithography, printing and binding. They have an excellent knowledge of book production and make books to a very high standard.
Q: What will be involved in the transformation of a dummy into a published book by spring 2018?
A: We will discuss all the details of the dummy with the winner-to-be. This will involve going through design, content and production, working together to produce an end result that is satisfying for the photographer, interesting for the audience and within the publisher’s budget!
Q: How do you decide on the editions of books to be printed?
A: With independent books, we generally produce an edition between 400 and 800 books. Audiences are usually smaller if the books aren’t attached to an exhibition and don’t receive as much press attention. However, with the help from Unseen and our distribution the books are still able to receive global recognition.
Q: How do you distribute the winners of the Unseen Dummy Award once they are published?
A: Apart from book fairs, such as the Unseen Book market, we also distribute the winning books on our web shop and other websites, through bookshops in the Netherlands and Belgium, and via Idea Books Amsterdam for the rest of the world.
Q: What criteria do you normally use to judge the dummies?
A: Personally, I am looking for a combination of quality photography and a high standard of book design. The dummy gives a good idea of how the book will look and feel once it is published, but we are also interested in how the book might improve through publication.