With over 360 fellows at the time of publishing, many of whom needed to be represented with a single image and a brief blurb a conceptual structure and rigorous image selection were crucial.
We developed a structure for the book based on an idea of the uniting traits TEDFellows share: (a sense of) Wonder, Kinship, Curiosity, Hope, and Creation. We then distributed the fellows into one of these based on their work. Images were meticulously selected, and the book’s layout and brand were designed to be as minimal as possible.


With a first print run of 3,500 copies, and at 300 pages the book is a great testament to the strength of the program and the caliber of its fellows. Over 300 copies were distributed to fellows during the retreat and the book’s unveiling was an event in itself.
Since then, “Swimming Against The Tide: Adventures with the TED Fellows” has become a calling card for the program, helping to ensure its continued growth and opening up opportunities for current and future fellows. More recently, the book was distributed to over 2,000 members of the TED Conference community through the TED Book Club.
Check out the publisher’s take on the book at the blog

“We’re very happy with how the book turned out. “Swimming Against the Tide” has been a huge asset, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve given it to all of our donors and have given it to many potential supporters too. It was also included in the TED book club so it went out to all TEDsters in January 2016.”

Patrick D’Arcy
Editorial Manager and Project Director—
TED Fellows at TED Conferences.