Something I get asked all the time is why Soft Skull is named Soft Skull. Saying “Um I actually don’t know” was getting really old so I went to the source and emailed Sander Hicks, founder of Soft Skull (who is writing a book for us! it all comes full circle! but wait, more on that to come) how he cooked up the name. Sander was great, he responded right away, and this is what he said:
“I was running around, after hours, in a Kinko’s in Manhattan, rapidly copying and binding and trimming my new book for a fiction class down the street at the New School for Social Research, and I needed just a quick punk rock name for a publishing company, to make it look like it was published. The first thing that comes to mind will do, I was telling myself, but make it just a little bit weirder, and more subversive, than generic ‘punk rock culture’ full of skulls and leather and commodities . . . So I decided the most subversive adjective to put before ‘skull’ would be ‘soft.'”
Then he added:
“It’s ironic you ask me this now, because here it is 19 years later, on my 20th anniversary year of being in New York City, and where am I now? I am at a Kinko’s, in Manhattan, after hours, working on a book . . . for Soft Skull! I love it!”
Like I said, more on Sander’s book to come (although I can say we won’t be printing it at Kinkos). But there’s the answer to the burning Q about Soft Skull’s name.
Check out the original logo—self-portrait of Sander? I’m betting yes but I’ll ask him that next and get back to you.