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Posts from the Typography Category

Typography Class Project: eBook Design

My first assignment for the typography class I’m taking at SAIC was to create a set of sample page designs for an eBook. I picked the iPad as my device, and for my fiction, non-fiction, and reference/how-to book, I picked The Screwtape Letters, Brain Rules, and a book of prayers, respectively. Having been an in-house designer for many years it was sort of refreshing to have that extra bit of freedom to choose whatever font I wanted. I was able to focus my energy on pure creativity and usability.

Process

While you can simply view a PDF as is on an iPad, you are forced to scroll vertically so you don’t really get the feel of a true eBook. I learned that if you import your PDF into iTunes and synchronize your iPad that way, your PDF will appear as a “book” in the iBooks app, and you can view it like you would a real eBook, scrolling left to right. I learned that colors are rendered very, very bright on the iPad (esp. with retina display), so I had subdue a lot of the colors I used originally. I also learned that there is definitely an optimal text size for reading on an iPad: too small and you have to start zooming in, which is unpleasant; too big and it looks goofy.

This month, I’ve begun taking an Intermediate Typography course at the School of Art Institute of Chicago in an effort to advance my craft outside of work. Our first assignment is to layout the text for an eBook. Below is a very rough work-in-progress sample of some title page options I’m trying for the “fiction” portion of this assignment. For my fiction eBook, I’ve chosen The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. The book is a series of letters by an old devil called Screwtape written to his novice nephew.

I am playing around with several possible themes. I think some of the serif typefaces give the book a rustic, aged, historical feel while some of the scripty typefaces definitely give off a sinister or even seductive vibe.

eBook Samples