Creative: Paul Joyce

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I don’t even know what to say to Paul. “Thank you,” isn’t going to cut it, so let me give you a little background. Paul and I are online friends. He’s an Englishman living in Germany, so unfairly living the Euro dream. Damnit. So we became “friends” via Twitter. I’ve made a few friends like this over the years, and from the Twitter world came the Smogranch world, on to the Shifter world and so on.

Paul would DM me on Twitter with book observations, photography observations and the occasional question. Now, a fair number of people do this and then go away never to be heard from again. And no books emerge. But Paul kept checking in, doing tests, making decisions, etc.

And then suddenly a package arrived. And in it was a bevy of book goodness that made me stop my numerous endeavors and just do some slow savoring. Not only did he make a book, he made several books of the exact same material. Just to see what he liked the most. Sweet Jesus this is what I’ve been harping on all of you to do for YEARS. Finally, someone took me up on it.
How else do you really know skeptics? I’m waiting……….SILENCE. That’s what I thought.

So, Paul included a saddle stitched Magcloud Digest, a perfect bound Magcloud Digest and a Blurb 6×9 Tradebook. Wow. And if that wasn’t enough he included a set of ten prints from the project. Oh ya, he did. Okay, first off, they all look good. The prints stand alone, so I won’t talk about them as much but they are nice and give me a feel for the actual photography. The books are all interesting in their own way. My two favorites are the Blurb 6×9 Trade and the saddle stitch Magcloud Digest which feel most informal but works nicely. I love saddle stitch. Feels so damn classic. He also did a nice job with the typography and type placement. I like the “MUC” font and I like the placement of copy on the cover. Enough but not in the way. His editing is tight and the images tell the story.

But people there is no right and wrong here. There is only what you desire. If you are a photographer and you aren’t making something like this then you are straight trippin. I don’t care if it’s Blurb, Magcloud, Ford, Chevy or Lada for that matter. Just print and begin to understand why putting your pixels on paper is considered going “full circle.”

Okay a few things I forgot to mention that are of critical importance. One, he wrote a handwritten note that is entirely legible, something I’d never be able to do. It’s beautiful. And adds such a great personal touch. Second, his photographs are GOOD. There is a solid core at the center that carries this entire piece, and within that core are three that could stand as a nice mailer. Well done. And last, the entire project is about beer. Damnit if you give me roasted chicken and 235 ounce German beers I WILL get arrested. I would check in with the German police BEFORE the party started, just to apologize and ask for them to think kindly when they have to put me down.

Well done Paul. Sorry it took me so long to get to showing off your work and books.

Comments 8

  1. Great post! Paul is my online friend for a while and I am sad we did not met yet in person. But Paul 2018 we will… He is a great example of a trustful friend (online) and I am happy to write with him very often… And yes I got my own little package from him! Thanks Daniel for this post!

    1. @Wim
      2018 will be the year we need to meet face-to-face. We just need to convince Daniel to come to Europe, get Frank J to fly across the pond again and all four of us can have a blast!

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  2. @Daniel
    When I sent you my small parcel I was only hoping to receive some general feedback not a complete blog post! Thank you very much for all of the kind words, I appreciate it and I’m glad you enjoyed looking at everything.

    I’m still in two minds which format I prefer as they all have their uses, but I do love the lay-flat option that the saddle-stich gives. For future issues I think I will still try to provide both a Blurb and Magcloud option.

    If anyone is interested, the Blurb 6×9 Trade was created in Blurb’s own Bookwright software and the Magcloud versions were created using the free open-source software Scribus, exported to PDF and then uploaded. I was not too keen on giving Adobe anymore money so I used this project to test Scribus and I have to say it does everything I needed it to do and more. After a quick search on the web I stumbled across all of the Magcloud templates that had been kindly created in a Scribus forum back in 2014 ( so that was very helpful.

    If anyone is interested in actually buying a copy of “MUC – Issue One” as seen in the photos above I will make them publicly available via Blurb and Magcloud at no extra cost. In fact I will do that any in a couple of days.

    Thanks again

  3. Interesting this bit about using Scribus. I am also (slowly) investigating whether there’s a way out of Adobe+Mac OS. I’m currently using Lightroom on a Mac, but it’s really the only closed-source program that I use; I’d like to move my entire computing to Linux once and for all. Well, that and Bookwright — but now I see there could be an altenrative in Scribus and uploading the PDF. The only thing is that for now all my half-completed books are Blurb Tradebooks. I wonder if you (Paul, but also Daniel with his insider knowledge) know how difficult or easy could be to set up Scribus templates also for the other book formats offered by Blurb.

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      Wow. No idea. Never been asked that before. I don’t even know what Scribus is……. I do like the idea of an open source operating system but know so little about this stuff that I’d probably screw it up for everyone.

    2. Alessandro,

      Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until now. I’ve not yet tried creating any Blurb templates within Scribus as Bookwright works so well. As per my previous link, the templates for the Magcloud sizes are available and if you cannot download them from the link above, contact me and I can send you them.

      I recommend giving Scribus ( a go. On the main website, check out the Wiki link at the top with lots of How To… info. If you have any other questions, contact me off line and maybe I can help.

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