Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts | eReviews

Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts’s collection of modern and practical ebook content is a solid investment for educational and organizational institutions that support fine arts studies, media, film, marketing, and other visual arts, as well as practical aspects of the field and professional development.


Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts 


CONTENT Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts (BAVA) describes itself as “the ultimate guide to a visual arts education,” supporting access to over 170 searchable books to inspire and guide the development of ideas, techniques, portfolio production, and other professional aspects of the visual arts. Areas covered include fashion and textiles, design and illustration, photography, film and animation, architecture and interiors, and marketing and advertising.

Materials in the collection include titles on a range of topics relevant to the disciplines listed above and provide content to take artists from a general understanding of the arts to the development of a professional practice and career. Many of the titles in the collection are structured around a core series comprising visual dictionaries, fundamentals, basics, required reading, and creative careers. These serve as a sort of core curriculum to guide students from study to practice and profession. Subject guides based on the disciplines cited provide an additional level of support for instruction and learning and can be linked in course content to support teaching.

Works in the collection feature full color images illustrating the concepts and techniques discussed. A full title list can be downloaded from the database website, with new editions published on a yearly basis to maintain relevance and currency.

USABILITY Bloomsbury is known for attractive, user-friendly interfaces that showcase their resources in an eye-catching layout, and Applied Visual Arts does not disappoint. Materials in the collection can be accessed via the basic and/or advanced search toolbar or browsed through the “Explore Disciplines” and “Browse Books” menus. Featured content is highlighted on the homepage, and a menu of visual tiles makes it easy to access the various disciplines straight from the splash page. A carousel of featured books serves as an additional resource for new users and aids in discoverability.

The subjects in the “Explore Disciplines” section highlight the key areas covered by the collection and serve as a guide for researchers, while also providing content for instructors to add to their courses and reading lists, such as PDF versions of the page that can be uploaded to course shells. These guides link to materials related to the discipline, key terms and concepts, introductions to key topics, and additional, in-depth content available through the collection.

The “Browse Books” section lists the 174 ebooks currently available through the collection, citing the title and author(s) along with a brief blurb about the content. Since there are no facets available for browsing, the list is somewhat unwieldy. The best method for browsing is the “Explore Disciplines” section, which offers the most control for discoverability. When conducting a search, users can refine their results by date range, content type, and discipline(s). They can also save individual records and search queries to their profile.

Titles in the collection are text searchable, and users can save, print, share, and cite content using tools available within the database.

PRICING Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts is available for purchase by perpetual access ($6,967 to $34,657) with a mandatory hosting fee of between $200 to $600, which begins one year after the initial purchase and covers access to updated editions of textbooks. It is also available by subscription ($1,393 to $6,931), with pricing based on size and type of institution; consortia discounts may be available.

Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts will become part of a broader Bloomsbury Visual Arts hub launching in March 2023. The hub will include additional related resources for ease of navigation and new content sets relevant to current customers, including “Applied Gaming,” “Ceramics,” and “Photography.” The pricing structure for Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts will not change.

VERDICT With subscription and perpetual access models available for purchase, BAVA’s collection of modern and practical ebook content is a solid investment for educational and organizational institutions that support the visual arts. The “Browse Books” section could use some further development for ease of use, but overall, content is easy to search and explore. A good resource for institutions that support fine arts studies, media, film, marketing, and other visual arts, as well as practical aspects of the field and professional development.

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