About us

Books are one of the defining inventions of civilisation. Today publishing is being transformed by digital technologies. The aim of Touch Press is to create new kinds of books that re-invent the reading experience by offering information that is enhanced with rich media and that adapts dynamically to the interests and experience of the reader.

Making possible the Touch Press vision are a team with diverse talents that include backgrounds in TV production, software development, print publishing and interactive design. Partnership with other organisations is at the heart of Touch Press’s publishing strategy. To date 12 of the company’s iPad titles have been selected by Apple as Editor’s Choice or App of the Week on the iTunes App Stores in the US, UK and worldwide.

Our philosophy

Books are one of the defining inventions of the civilisation—and today they are poised for a revolution. Our aim is to create a new kind of book that makes use of emerging technology to redefine the book, reinvent publishing, and forever transform the act of reading.

Sam Aspinall CEO

Sam is passionate about growing great businesses. She joined Touch Press as COO in 2013 to build the operations that would support the business' continued growth, preserving creativity and leaving room for a flair for the unexpected. She took over as CEO from Max Whitby in 2014.

Sam began her career as a Chartered Accountant, specialising in financial markets, before adding an MBA from Warwick Business School. She left Arthur Andersen to join Mind Gym, a start-up that was setting out to challenge the assumptions and norms of the corporate training industry. Sam led this disruptive business as Commercial Director, delivering a tenfold growth in revenue and working globally with a range of FTSE 100 companies.

While based at home with a young family, Sam was a mentor and advisor to a portfolio of entrepreneurial businesses, facing challenges ranging from designing their offer to harvesting value and planning for exit. During this time, Sam also graduated from drama school and continues to perform with her local theatre company.

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Theodore Gray Co-founder and CCO

An innovative software developer, author, and populariser of science; having started out in chemistry, Theodore joined Stephen Wolfram in the creation of Mathematica in 1987. He has guided interface strategy at Wolfram, and has been responsible for a sequence of major innovations. He pioneered the concept of Mathematica notebooks, which serve as the main interface to Mathematica, and have since made possible the creation of millions of interactive computable documents.

Theodore is passionate about communicating the excitement, and the importance, of science to a wide audience. He is a Contributing Editor at Popular Science magazine, and has authored its Gray Matter column since 2003. The How 2.0 section containing Theodore’s column won a National Magazine Award in 2005, and the column itself is a finalist for its own National Magazine Award for 2010.

Theodore is the author of Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home–But Probably Shouldn’t, and the best-selling coffee table book The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, which was the first groundbreaking interactive book published by Touch Press.

He is the proprietor of periodictable.com, for which he has received an Ig Nobel Prize, and is the creator of the iconic photographic periodic-table poster seen in universities, schools, museums, and on TV shows from MythBusters to Hannah Montana.

Awards

Grady Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry - for The Elements

Ig Nobel Prize - for the Periodic Table Table

MacUser Editor’s Choice Award - for Mathematica

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Max Whitby Co-founder and Director Special Projects

Award-winning ex-BBC producer, and executive of multiple groundbreaking ventures; after studying philosophy at Oxford University, Max joined the BBC where he produced numerous Horizon and NOVA documentaries. He was involved in the BBC’s pioneering Interactive Television Unit and headed an early collaboration between the BBC and Apple. Subsequently he co-led a management buyout of this BBC group, forming a media publishing company that achieved a successful IPO in 1995.

In 2004 Max made the radical decision to train formally as a scientist, and completed a PhD in chemistry at Imperial College in London. For the past decade he has collaborated closely with Theodore Gray designing and building elaborate periodic table displays and installations around the world.

Their first iPad title The Elements resulted from this partnership and has become an award-winning digital publishing phenomenon. The success of The Elements led to the formation of Touch Press in April 2010. Max co-produced the landmark literary iPad title The Waste Land.

Max is widely travelled, having filmed for TV companies comprising the BBC and PBS in over 30 countries, including six memorable weeks in North Korea. He has received four BAFTA nominations and two BAFTA awards. He is passionately interested in natural history and has personally filmed every British bird, butterfly and bumblebee species.

Awards

BAFTA (Factual) - for DNA Interactive

BAFTA (Electronic Magazine) - for BirdGuides

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John Cromie CTO

A software and digital business professional with over 20 years of experience at the leading edge of software development; John graduated from Trinity College Dublin with first class honours in software and electronics engineering, which was followed by a research masters. He has delivered scores of successful projects on a wide range of desktop, web, and mobile platforms.

Software architecture and cross-platform development are areas of special interest. John has worked on projects as part of the Apple QuickTime team and has authored a book in the QuickTime Developer series. He is a highly experienced iOS developer, having worked on every Touch Press title to date, as well as developing iPhone applications for his natural history business BirdGuides.

John is a keen naturalist and is active in conservation and research in Ireland where he currently serves as chairman of BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s leading conservation charity.

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Stephen Wolfram Co-founder

Scientist, author, inventor and entrepreneur; Stephen is best known for creating Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha®, and for authoring A New Kind of Science. In his early years he made a number of discoveries in physics and cosmology. In the 1980s his now-classic work on cellular automata helped launch the field of complexity theory. Then in 1986 Stephen began the creation of Mathematica, founded Wolfram Research, and launched the first version of Mathematica.

Stephen has served as CEO of Wolfram Research for more than two decades, and has provided the technical leadership that has made Mathematica the world's leading system for advanced computing. His company recently created Wolfram|Alpha®, the breakthrough computational knowledge engine released in 2009. He has received multiple awards for science, technology and business, including a 1981 MacArthur Fellowship.

In addition to his work in technology and business, Stephen is also a world-renowned scientist. Using Mathematica as his tool, Stephen's groundbreaking studies of the computational universe led to his bestselling 2002 book A New Kind of Science, and to the launch of a vibrant new area of science.

He has a longstanding commitment to publishing and communication, having been the author—and publisher—of two bestselling books, and publisher of a leading academic journal for 25 years. His broad interests span many areas of science, technology and their history. The tools and methods, created by Stephen, have had a defining influence on science and technology of the past three decades, and provide the foundations for even more dramatic developments to come.

Awards

MacArthur Fellowship

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Partners

  • Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Disney Interactive
  • Wolfram|Alpha
  • Wolfram Research
  • Faber & Faber
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • Wide-Eyed Entertainment
  • National Geographic Channel
  • The Royal Collection
  • Barefoot Books
  • Egmont
  • Rite Digital
  • Laboratorio Rosso
  • Illuminations Media
  • NatureGuides
  • The Music Sales Group
  • The Element Collection
  • Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Black Dog & Leventhal
  • Deutsche Grammophon