Thought there were enough study guides aimed at the undergraduate Shakespeare studies market? Well, think again. Bermond, a San Diego, Calif., publisher launched this year by two Shakespeare-loving graphic designers, is bringing out the 1-Hour Guidebooks, a series of lavishly illustrated guides to Shakespeare's plays.

Bermond Press was founded by David Grey and Gretchen Berquist Gordon, with the aim of publishing a different kind of study guide.

The Bermond 1-Hour Study Guides, Gordon said, will offer graphics and illustrations, detailed character representations, illustrated scene summaries, maps and charts—as well as a two-CD recording of actors performing the entire play, with added commentary. The house will release two of the guides, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, in November and will publish five more in 2005. Bermond's distribution will be handled by Biblios. Bermond will also launch a Web site ( in December that will provide animated notes on the guides, a Shakespeare q&a and games.

The books cost $21, a high price point for study guides. But no matter, Gordon told PW: "The price of our books is three times higher, but the books are four times better."