Isheeta Mustafi is editorial director at RotoVision, an imprint of The Quarto Group focused on art, design and photography. Named a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016, Mustafi moved to the UK from India 10 years ago and is now based in Brighton, developing coedition books in-house and notching up hits such as the Trianimals colouring titles.
This corner of the market — with books that have distinctive design, high production values and tactile appeal—has undoubtedly contributed to the revival of print books, and Mustafi has been thrilled to see some of her subjects move from the niches to the mainstream. “A few years ago the mood was more cautious, but print has rallied,” she says. “I think there’s never been a better time for us to try new things, to experiment and be bold.”
Here she shares five things inspiring her to think and work differently right now.
Hardware: My iMac at work. I’m one of those people who has about 17 windows open at the same time; emails, InDesign, browsers, spreadsheets and what not and the iMac makes it much easier to stay organised.
Software: I’m a Slack evangelist. Our publisher moved us over to it two years ago and it halved my email traffic within days. Managing multiple projects with people who are based all over the world is a staple of our job and Slack doesn’t just make that easier, it improves what you can do. (See, evangelist!)
Book: This isn’t technically a book, but I’ve been dipping into The WIRED World in 2017 all through January. It’s a brilliant publication and a fascinating read (thanks, not least, to some lovely illustrations by Tom Gauld).
Idea: It’s that David Ogilvy quote: “It is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can sell what you create”. I actually find it quite terrifying, but it’s really relevant to what we do.
Person: Winnie Prentiss who is Group Publisher for some of the Quarto imprints in the US. I’ve learned a lot from her over the years and she’s just about the nicest person you can know.