Wight Book. Brian Marriott, Chris Scott and Ben Wood

A landmark publication which promotes all that’s good and great about the Isle of Wight has officially been launched.

The Wight Book is a collaboration between Chris Scott, designer Brian Marriott and photographer Ben Wood who put together a team of the Island’s designers, photographers and writers, supported by a large group of volunteers, to create a hardback book celebrating the Isle of Wight.

Divided into 22 chapters, it is written by some leading Island figures who give first-person accounts of Island life, illustrated with photographs donated by 10 of the Island’s leading photographers.

A launch event was held Nunwell House in Brading, attended by more than 250 guests – which included 70 Island business sponsors, 10 photographers, 24 authors and the team of 22 volunteers who helped to make The Wight Book happen.

Two years in the making, The Wight Book, a not-for-profit publication, endorses why the Island is globally recognised for its history, innovation, creativity, natural produce, activities and events.

Chris Scott said:

“The journey we have followed to reach where we are today has been a long one. Over two years ago, I was hooked on the dream of producing a coffee table book that celebrates everything that is good about the Island we all love. This was then to be used for inward investment on the Island and be of general public interest.

“The book would be written by authors from the Island who make the best contribution to showcase this Isle of Wight, with supporting photography by the best local photographers who create stunning images, working with local printer, Crossprint. It has been a fantastic Island effort.”

“What has amazed me is the level of sponsorship for this book. This is a not-for-profit publication with all net proceeds going to local charities. In approaching the Island’s businesses, I have been amazed at the generosity and interest in this project. I thank everyone who has been involved – including the sponsors of the launch here at Nunwell House today.”

Brian Marriott created the overall design concept and production took place in the Crossprint studio.

Brian said:

“When I started to plan out the content that reflected Chris’s brief, ‘everything that is great about the Island’, I arrived at 22 sections and realised the enormity of the task! I approached 22 people to write the forewords to each chapter, all of whom I respect and have had the pleasure of working with in the past. No-one refused my proposal, in fact it was enthusiastically received.”

Ben Wood said:

“We are blessed on the Island with many fine photographers and once we had settled on our team of 10, the book began to take shape very quickly. Many of the photographers I’d admired from afar, so it’s been a great experience to get to know them better and to go through their archives selecting the photography to illustrate Brian’s 22 chapters. This book is a one-off, a never-to-be-repeated snapshot of life on the Island in 2019.”

The book also portrays Island businesses which have global markets, exporting to over 90 sovereign nations.

‘Innovation is in our DNA’ states one headline and includes many ‘firsts’ for the Island like the electric car, sea plane, hovercraft, permanent wireless radio station and British satellite.

Another headline states ‘this small Island is at the centre of an engineering revolution’ reflecting the huge successes of Isle of Wight based firms.

The design highlights the Island’s entrepreneurs who make up the fabric of business life. Ben Rouse heads up this section of 19 diverse examples of people who have chosen the Island for their work, life balance.

Tapnell Farm was the first business approached by Chris Scott for sponsorship.

Tom Honeyman Brown said:

“As a project which aims to celebrate the creativity, cultural heritage and entrepreneurialism of the Isle of Wight, the Wight Book is a huge success and is something we are immensely proud to be part of.  The book has been carefully curated and as well as looking great, it serves as a fantastic mouthpiece to show the Island off in all its glory – we can see it sitting on coffee tables around the world helping the Island rub shoulders with some of the best global destinations!”

Chris added:

“We have had to make a balanced judgement on the content and cannot hope to represent all the talent, inventiveness and dedication within the business and community sectors on the Island, but anyone on the Island browsing this book will feel immense pride and anyone off the Island will be astonished to know how vibrant, inventive, creative and active this small Island is. We punch well above our weight.”

The Wight Book will be available from July 1 and all net proceeds will go to local charities.

More details can be found here – www.thewightbook.co.uk