The book cover image for Strategic Digital Transformation took much deliberation. Usually in these situations, the easy (and usual) option is to pick a stock image from the publishers library of choice. As main authors devoted to digital transformation and from a Business School – artwork decisions isn’t a usual occurrence for us. After some deliberations, we found one of the options from the stock library was something that reminded us of the legendary Salford artist L.S. Lowry.
Lowry is famous for his paintings in the mid 20th Century of Salford and the North-West of England. He has a distinct style, painting ‘match stick men’ in industrial landscapes against the backdrop of the industrial revolution. Interestingly, Lowry still holds the record for most honours declined, including a British knighthood. This is because he didn’t want to ‘change his situation’. This fact is also interesting in relation to our book. Many established organisations find themselves in a similar situation where they wish to remain unchanged but in an ever changing volatile environment. Our book though is all about understanding and embracing the benefits of change and digital transformation.
The connection to Salford, industry and digital is also fitting as we move further to the industry 4.0 revolution and where we are now with digital transformation. The original stock image reminded us of the work of modern day North-West digital artist Andrew Brooks who had created some Lowry style digital work for a project at Salford University. Andrew uses digital techniques in his photography to create artwork from sometimes hundreds of high resolution digital images he captures from different places. We approached Andrew about the book cover he was quickly able to create the perfect book cover for us based on previous work. The connection therefore to Lowry featuring people, connections and data is central to Strategic Digital Transformation and this seemed fitting. Andrew said:
‘It was great to be asked to develop this composite photograph further to be the cover of this book. The original picture was created at the University of Salford and was all about capturing some of the energy and pace of the area. I also wanted it to be a modern response to the work of Lowry who took art classes at the University many years ago. This new version of the image is a response to themes within the book. I wanted to show a version of the network effect in a still image and also capture some of the pace of our modern digital world.’
Overall, we were really happy with the cover image and it’s connection to Salford, the industrial revolution, Lowry, Andrew Brooks, the digital revolution and connection to people and data. We would be interested to hear what you think of it also and the connections that we’ve discussed in this post.