ORGAN THING: Do like a good looking book cover, George Orwell set out ‘to make political writing into an art’, do like the look of Renard Press…

Places to be today, today’s Organ Thing of The Day will need to be a quick one before sone of us go throw paint at canvas. Sometimes a good looking book cover just does it, these rather beautiful looking things caught our eye today when they passed by on Twitter. “George Orwell set out ‘to make political writing into an art’, you can find out more via, rgwt just looked too good to ignore, The books are published by the relatively newly formed Renard Press. It was the look of the books that caught us, and further investivation tells us everything else Renard have done so far looks beautifully designed, inviting, tactile. It was actually the Newham Bookshop Twitter feed that brough the books to our attention first, credit where credit is due – “Est in 1978, Newham Books is one of east London’s leading independent bookshops. With an extensive events programme, check out some of the authors coming up”. There you have it, go explore Renard Press, all it all looks rather good (and rather reasonably priced), I like the look of Renard Press…

RENARD PRESS is an independent publisher, launched in June 2020. Covering both classic and contemporary titles, Renard publishes fiction and non-fiction, theatre and poetry; the emphasis is on good writing, properly edited, and our books can be found in convenient modern formats – in a world increasingly lived online – as well as in beautifully designed and well-produced editions.

‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’

Renard considers design and production values to be fundamental in independent publishing, and we don’t believe anyone should have to read books – from classic theatre to contemporary fiction – in yellowing, crumbling editions with cramped typesetting and poor legibility. If we consider a book to be an artefact, rather than a mode of inhaling words, it’s important to think about the papers used, as well as the colours, typefaces, pictures – all the little details which make us treasure the books on our shelves. After all, no two books are the same – why should they be published as though they were?

‘A poet can survive everything but a misprint.’

A damning indictment from dear Oscar, but it’s certainly true. Renard always aims to produce the best version of a text – our classics are always based on the authoritative edition, rather than following the traditional route of basing the text on that of the first edition and making selected amendments from other editions, thus creating a hybrid between the first edition and various others.

Where we think they will enrich the text, we add explanatory notes and an extra-material section with information about the author and their works.

‘If a thing’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing well.’

We don’t want to  ‘change how people read’, but we are passionate about good writing, and want to facilitate reading in all the ways people read – which is why we provide free digital downloads if you buy from our website, and we produce ebooks in all mainstream formats, too – and we also want to stimulate conversation about reading itself, and provide a platform for the promotion of it, which is why we have a focus on our News section. Over time we look forward to amassing an archive of opinion, resources, quizzes, interviews, the odd game and the Long Reads we all enjoy to try to find time for.

‘Variety is the soul of pleasure.’

Perhaps most importantly, Renard places a premium on being accessible – we don’t want our editions to be overly scholarly, or our site hidden behind paywalls – and we aim to make our platform and editions as accessible and inclusive as we can. A big part of this is in fostering young talent – so we look forward to working with young and varied authors, artists, techsters and publishers in the making”. 

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