Independent By Design Showcasing the gaming industry’s most renowned indie developers

Background

Written by industry veterans Stace Harman and John Robertson, Independent By Design is a collection of works by some of the gaming industry’s most renowned independent developers.

Each chapter tells the story of one of the 20 featured independent development studios, giving readers an insight into the personalities and inspirations behind a number of the indie scene’s most iconic titles. Their history, triumphs and motivations are revealed through beautifully reproduced artwork, thought provoking essays and in-depth interviews with key members of each team.

Approach

We were given total creative freedom over the design and layout of the book, which allowed us to take full advantage of the striking imagery produced by the studios.

With such a wide variety of styles inside, the cover needed to encapsulate them all, but without giving too much away. The minimal design hints at the content contained with its subtle pixel block pattern and play button icon, whilst the bright yellow colour was chosen to give it a playful feel.

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was making sure the grid layouts designed were flexible enough to best showcase each studio's unique style. Images ranged from full page digital paintings to tiny 8-bit figures, so it was important that the spreads worked to give each style the visual impact it deserved. To achieve this, we first sorted each of the images into small groups that worked well together, before deciding which needed their own space and finally tailoring the layouts around them.

Results

The Kickstarter campaign was featured as a ‘staff pick’ and exceeded its funding goal by over £2,000 thanks to its 635 backers.

Since its launch, the book has received numerous positive reviews from the gaming press, who have praised its high quality and beautiful design. The reception by the public has also been equally positive, with many of the campaign's backers commenting to say how impressed they are with the finished product.

"We're delighted with the work and service we received from the talented team at RKH. The entire design process, from producing early concepts to applying finishing touches, was impeccably well handled. All of our discussions with the team, and with designer Dominic Palmer in particular, were constructive and positive. RKH perfectly understood our goals for the project, provided invaluable feedback on our ideas, and their design expertise contributed countless touches, both broad and detailed, to add immeasurable value to the finished product. We're excited to work with the team at RKH again and look forward to creating another quality book as visually striking and well produced as this one." - Stace Harman and John Robertson, founders of Indie By Design Ltd