In 1995 Philip Atkins and Michael Johnson had the idea to create a guidebook to Oxford, featuring a dodo. They not only wanted to write and illustrate the book, but to do the design, typesetting (using typefaces created by one of the authors), publishing, marketing, sales, and distribution themselves. In 1999 Dodo Publishing launched The Heart of Oxford.
As the The Heart of Oxford only covered the academic centre of the city, they next decided to produce a guidebook that would cover the whole of the city. The Dodo Guide to Oxford was first published in 2005. It was later renamed The Pocket Guide to Oxford and is now in its seventh edition.
In 2010 a rather different kind of book, A Dodo at Oxford, was published – the unreliable account of a student and his pet dodo.
Philip passed away in 2009 and Michael continues the business under the name of Oxgarth Press.