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A novel way to create your own book

After a decade of producing internationally bestselling books and working with award-winning photographers and luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, New Zealand-based PQ Blackwell, the creator of MILK (Moments, Inspiration, Love & Kinship) is now set to launch a website that will make it possible for anybody to create a tailor-made book –be it a life story, photo book or an ambitious art album.

Inspiration for the project came to PQ Blackwell’s founder, Geoff Blackwell, when his father turned 70.

“To mark dad’s special day my family and I decided to make him a book that combined our favourite photographs of moments shared together, and then each of us – right down to the youngest grandchild – wrote him a message telling him how much we love him. It was a beautiful little book and giving it to him was one of the happiest moments of our lives.”

The experience made such an impact on Blackwell that he and his team of award-winning designers and editors have spent the last 18 months creating a website that will enable “ordinary people to tell their extraordinary stories” and to create what Blackwell believes will be "the world’s best tailor made books" – featuring designer fabric binding, art paper, multiple editorial and design frameworks and digital versions that allow people to add video to tell their stories.

“Milk Tailor Made Books is our most ambitious project yet but it is founded on a simple love for making beautiful books, and a belief that every life is precious, and every life has defining moments that are worth recording and celebrating,” says Blackwell.

MILKbooks.com launches on April 1 in New Zealand, with Australia, UK, North America and the rest of the world to follow.

PQ Blackwell originally came to prominence with the international launch of MILK – a collection of images from submissions from 17,000 photographers in 164 countries that became the basis for a bestselling series of books, and was exhibited at venues around the world, including New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the Sydney Opera House and London’s Science Museum. 

PQ Blackwell now collaborates with some of the world’s leading photographers and writers.

Its projects include New York Times bestseller Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela.