Book Designing And Illustration In Nigerian Publishing Houses (A Case Study Of Macmillan Publishing Plc)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Book Designing And Illustration In Nigerian Publishing Houses (A Case Study Of Macmillan Publishing Plc)


This study gives a comparative study of book designing and illustration and factors affecting Nigeria publishing houses with one selected publishing house (Macmillan Plc) as a case study.

The data collection instruments used for the study are questionnaire, interview and secondary data. The findings revealed the various types of works of publishing houses, the kind of printing materials they published, the method through which publishing house get what they publish, the problem they encountered in getting raw materials for book designing, factors affecting book publishing in Nigeria and factors that will promote book industry in Nigeria.

Based on these findings, recommendations were made on ways of solving the outstanding problems. The suggestions were based on the problems identified.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter one

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Objective of study
  • 1.4 Significance of study
  • 1.5 Scope of the study
  • 1.6 Research questions
  • 1.7 Definition of terms

Chapter two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Indigenous publishing
  • 2.2 Problems of indigenous publishers in Nigeria and solution
  • 2.3 Reference

Chapter three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Method of data collection
  • 3.2.1 Questionnaire
  • 3.2.2 Interview
  • 3.2.3 secondary source
  • 3.3 Sampling size and sample techniques
  • 3.4 Population of the study
  • 3.5 Data analysis techniques

Chapter four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Data presentation and interpretation
  • 4.2 Data analysis and research findings

Chapter five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion and summary
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix I
  • Appendix II

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Publishing is to make public according to Grannis (1967) to send forth among the people, the words and pictures the creative minds have produced, the editors have worked over, that printers have produced, also according to him, the term publishing is applied to book publishing.

Publishing activities involves the manufacturing of newspapers, magazines, books, newsletters, journals, report and many other printed materials. There are many processes involve in making the work of an editor accessible to the public, they are as follows:

Selecting, editing, designing, illustration, production, distributing and marketing. They are complementary and none is more important than others.

Book designing is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole.

It can also be viewed as the conception, planning and specifying of the book. On the other hand, illustration means to explain but not just an ordinary explanation but involves diagrammed, maps and pictures. Illustration is a visible mark on paper that communicates without the use of words.

Just as every house has a designer of the house, every book also has a designer, it may not be an architect, and the book designer is to the printer what an architect is to the builder. The book designer decides on how the book design will be and then the printer prints. The book designer may be a staff of the publishing house or an outsider.

Furthermore, illustration communicates knowledge, the quality of illustration on a well made book is very important.

1.1 Background Of The Study

By the mid 50s, officials of the Macmillan and company limited in the United Kingdom stated making occasional business trip to Nigeria. Such visits were undertaken principally to explore the book market of Nigeria for the growth of the brutish company, these visits however created demands for their books which were met through the few major bookshops then operating in the country. The publications of Macmillan and company limited London, grew steadily in popularity but as colonialism was drawing to an end in Nigeria, the need for suitable publications by capable indigenous authors who reflect the Nigeria cultural setting became overwhelming. This therefore necessitated the establishment of Macmillan in Nigeria.

Macmillan Nigeria publishers limited is an offshoot of Macmillan and company Nigeria limited. Incorporated on 23rd April 1965, the company has grown over the years to become one of the household name among the publishing companies in Nigeria today.

The Philosophy Of The Company

Macmillan Nigeria publishers limited are committed to the building of:-

  1. A free and democratic society
  2. A just and egalitarian society
  3. A united, strong and self reliant nation
  4. A great and dynamic economy and
  5. A land of bright and full opportunities.

In achieving this set philosophy, the company has always carried out business of publishing in the most lawful manner while striving to maintain its traditional leading position.
Macmillan Nigeria distributorship strategies

With over thirty five years of Macmillan Nigeria publishers limited in the publishing industry, there are placed to fit squarely into the distribution channels of all educational materials being procured by the national primary education commission.

Today, the publication of academic professional books is another landmark in their publishing endeavors as Nigerian academic writers are being encouraged to disseminate their knowledge through books published in Nigeria especially now that imported books are difficult to come by. Macmillan Nigeria publishers has a wide range of academic books and journals in all subject, disciplines and professions.

The company has come a long way in publishing of fiction and creative works. Popular series include pacesetters, winners, past and present. These are best sellers today. It is no gain saying that the series has come to be associated with the standard of fiction writing in the country. The company has attained unparallel recognition for production of high quality atlases and wall maps. Their success in this area has continued to be a reference point for other publishers.

Operational Objectives Of The Company

Macmillan Nigeria publishers is principally a publisher of educational books. Operationally, the company has amongst others the following objectives:-

  1. Promote and stimulate reading culture among Nigerians.
  2. Stimulate indigenous authorship and promote excellence in publishing.
  3. Promote textbooks tailored to the needs of student and seek the general educational needs of the society.
  4. Provide regular employment for the citizenry
  5. Promote regular materials for the socio-economic needs of Nigerians, encourage cultural movement through reading materials.

The Management Profile Of The Company

Dr. A.L. Adelekan-managing director, he holds a doctorate degree in education, he has a wide range of experience in publishing.

Mr. Yinka Olaniyan-executive director, he is publishing and printing guru. He has attended several courses in designing, publishing and production of textbooks and other educational materials.

Mr. Ropo oluwemida- marketing manager, he is a professional marketer with many years experience in sales and marketing. He holds both bachelors and master degrees from the University of Ibadan.

Mr. Bola Fasasi-internal auditor a qualified chartered accountant with many years experience. He has worked in various establishments before joining Macmillan as the internal auditor.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem.

Book designing and illustration depends not only on money but also on the perception that it enhances the growth of the nation and the use of the material by the audience especially when more value is placed on book designing and illustration.

In Nigeria today, there are many problems facing the publishing houses which include: inadequate power supply, lack of qualified personnel in book designing, financial problems and unavailability of raw materials for book designing and illustration. All these contribute to poor production. If care is not taken, book designing may face the danger of extinction if the death of book illustration and designing continues.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The broad objective of this study is to determine the extent of book designing and illustration in Nigerian publishing houses.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

The study will serve as a valuable information source to publishing houses and organizations who may wish to venture into this aspect of business as a kind of feasibility study. The study on completion will basically add to the literature of library and information science particularly in the area of book designing and illustration.

1.5 Scope Of The Study

the scope of this study is on enhancing book designing and illustration in Nigeria publishing houses with a particular study high light the intricacies and problems involves in book designing and the prospects for those involved in this arm of publishing with particular reference to the Macmillan plc.

1.6 Research Questions

  1. What are the method through which publishing get what they publish.
  2. What type of materials does the company publish?
  3. Does the company have the needed personnel’s in book designing and illustration?
  4. What are the problems encountered in getting raw materials for designing and illustration?
  5. What factors will promote book designing and illustration in Nigerian publishing houses?

1.7 Definition Of Terms


A non-periodical printed publication with not less than 49 pages.


The art of deciding how something will look, work by drawing plans, making models.


A drawing or picture in a book, magazine especially one that explains something


A person who draws or paints pictures for books.


A person whose job is to decide how something will look by making drawings, plans, pattern.


The profession or business of preparing and printing books, magazines and selling or making them available to the public.


A company involved in a particular kind of business. Examples, banking, publishing.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

In publishing industry, there are factors affecting the growth of publishing in Nigeria.

Government and private owned publishing houses suffered the same indisputable problems in the printing and publishing houses. They are as follows: lack of accommodation, inadequate finance, inadequate training facilities for developing human resources, lack of respect for learning and books, lack of credit facilities, non-encouragement of local authorship and piracy. Most of printing machines and raw materials comes from overseas, which brings much problem leading to delay in book publication.

Furthermore, lack of fund has been largely responsible for the unavoidability of competent staff, required office, accommodation and printing equipment costs, and the consequent delays in appearance of new publications.
Even when the books are published, they are not well distributed especially to the rural areas due to lack of good roads and high cost of transportation. Publishers in Nigeria have poor publication network, they hardly employ skilled workers due to high cost of payment and maintenance.

Poor recognition by government makes skilled publishers to run into policies because there is no money in publishing business. There appear to be lack of professionalism in publishing in Nigeria, since any person, it seem can go into it without any special training.

5.2 Recommendations

For a publishing house to be effective and efficient, the management should employ qualified and adequate number of staff in various department of the house. Publishers should employ skilled workers who have the knowledge of book designing, printing and publishing.

Publishing houses have to engage in some other business like computer centers, training centers and selling of books to uplift the industry.

Tertiary institutions should develop more comprehensive courses on publishing. At least, two polytechnics in each state should have appropriate programmes in printing technology practices, book-designing and graphics.

There is also need for improvement in accommodation. The publishing house needs to expand its structure to provide adequate allocation of funds to the firm by the state government in order to reach the goals set by the  publishing house.

Furthermore, printing materials should be producing locally because Nigeria is able to produce enough paper to meet its needs, the heavy important duty placed on paper should be lifted by the federal government likewise for printing equipment and raw materials.

The role of the university press in the promotion of scholarship and research should be broader, within the framework of the work of academic standard. It should go beyond publishing research monographs, learned journals, lectures and conference proceedings and embrace publication of tertiary level textbooks and creative writing that affect the Nigerian culture and creativity.

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