(I’m gonna speak in the first person here—it feels weird for a bio, but even weirder for me to try to talk in the third when this is me talking about me.)
My name is Derrick Schultz. I’m a designer, a developer, and a sort of publishing industry think-ey person (that’s the best substitute for “thought leader” I could come up with, sorry). I began my career making art books (physical ones), museum exhibits, signage, and other traditional design projects. I transitioned from that into web design and development, applying my physical design work to screens. In 2012 I began working with Open Air Publishing, a new book company that made how-to books for tablets and phones—a great marriage of my previous working years. I eventually became VP of Design before the company was sold to Inkling. After Open Air I was the Digital Design and Production Manager at Atavist Books. We made some amazing digital titles, including one someone described as “The One Ebook You Have to Read If You Love Digital Books.” Atavist Books sadly closed before we could really get started. I then moved on and became the Director of Digital Experience at Atavist (I know I know—they actually are different companies!). And about 2 years ago I joined the New York Times as a product designer, where I take a lot of the things I learned as a book creator and apply it to journalism.
In addition to various speaking occasions, I’ve also taught at SVA’s undergrad Design program.
As a part of my life in digital publishing I have talked about my work, my philosophy, and my theories to groups large and small. If you’re interested in having me speak—to your classroom, your office, or your conference—please get in touch.
Things I have spoken about in the past:
- Digital Production Workflows
- Ebook Production
- Digital Design and Development
- Producing Books for the Web
- Design and Typography
- The Publishing Industry and Its Transition in the Digital Age
- Ebook Development for Front End Developers
Things I have yet to speak about, but would be very interested in talking about:
- Design History
- Avant-Garde Books
- Generative Art
- Kickstarter for Artists
Nothing at the moment. Let’s chat!
Waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy back in 2009, I co-taught a class with Louise Sandhaus called “The Future of Publishing.” This was our introduction to class on the topic. A few months before the release of the iPad, it’s interesting to see just how naïve our ideas were at the time. There’s still some great projects in this deck, however.
I was asked to speak with a group of upcoming technologists at NYU about design over a two week period. It wasn’t my intention, but I ended up creating a basic primer on design as it applies to the current generation of app design. It’s what I would have wanted if I were taking a basic design course today. Hopefully it helped out this group of students as well.
The first talk focused on typography (chosen because there’s an oft-discussed belief that the web is “90% typography”).
The second session discussed everything not typography: using color, line, shape, and grid to your design’s advantage.
I was fortunate to speak alongside Tina Henderson and Peter Meyers as a part of the Type Directors Club event The Art of the Ebook. The night focused on the design of ebooks and I chose to talk about the trajectory of my work—from a young designer creating art books, to a web developer, and finally to an ebook/multimedia book developer.
The video from the event is available here (my talk begins at ~46:00). Slides available below.
I believe one of the most important things that will happen in the next few years is the movement of books from ebooks to full-fledged webpages. In this webinar for Digital Book World, I highlight some of the benefits of books on the web, as well as some of the current challenges it faces.
The video of this webinar is available for purchase from Digital Book World. Slides from the talk are below.
Ebookcraft has quickly become one of the best conferences on ebook production, design, and development. It was an honor to the the first speaker for the day in 2015. I presented my recent thoughts on the “next step” for ebook production: the ebook CMS. Beginning with a brief introduction on the history of website production, I predict how ebook production will follow the same path. I also talk about the mammoth in the room—InDesign.
The day after ebookcraft is BookNet Canada’s Tech Forum. It’s equally as great as ebookcraft, but the emphasis is broader. In 2015 I performed the rare double billing. Seeing as I finally had an audience of publishing professionals bigger than just the ebook creators, I decided to bare my soul, my hopes, and my dreams. What followed was a wide array a thoughts about digital technology, and what I hope it can (and can’t) do for the publishing industry. I also—full discolsure—swore a lot.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey Yamaguchi’s Digital Trends in Book Publishing class at NYU. Rather than try to proclaim I know everything (or anything), I just told this class of smart and passionate students about what I’ve seen in this industry. Their questions were some of the best I’ve had.
The full slide deck is available online here.
I took part in two discussions at Book Summit 2015. The first was “Exploring the Story at the Centre: Multimedia Expressions,” and I talked about Atavist in the afternoon as a part of a panel on Alternative Publishing. More info is available at http://www.booksummit.ca/
I knew Ebookcraft 2016 was going to be my last as an ebook developer. I had already accepted a job at the New York Times by then, so I wanted to impart some of my knowledge with the audience as—well, as a goodbye present. I did a two hour workshop with participants and shared a bunch of tips and tricks I learned in my years as an ebook creator.
Slides for the presentation are here.
I moderated a “debate” between India Amos and Nick Barreto on the need for design in ebook. India eviscerated Nick, I’m sorry to report.
I returned to Ebookcraft 2017 one last time to be a part of a panel on ebook industry people who had left the industry and returned with advice from the outside world.
I guess there’s no video of this panel, sorry.
My colleague Peter Rentz and I discussed the use of typography in the New York Times story experience. We described how our team works, the type of problems we solve and how the Times uses type to create an informative an ambient experience for our readers.