eBook estethics DIY

August 15, 2014

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©Titelbild: Kuratorium der Electric Book Fair

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The manifesto »Ästhetik des eBooks. Beginn einer Debatte« recently published by the Kuratorium der Electric Book Fair is, of cause, an ePub. On top you see the title, below on the left ist the introduction that says:

»Die Texte sollen als Initial einer weiterführenden Diskussion über die ästhetischen und politischen Möglichkeiten des E-Book-Gestaltens, -Verlegens und -Vertreibens wirken.« Thanks for the invitation. I read the texts with interest but as a Designer I prefer to start with the typographic quality.

On the left you see the original, displayed in iBooks. On the right you see the same page after two simple improvements of its typographic style:

1) The body text got more line spacing (font size × 1.4 instead of 1.2), so the overall look gets lighter. It’s easier to find the following line which is particularly important on wider displays such as tablet pcs. In eBooks we don’t save pages (/publishing costs /trees) anymore by pressing lines together so why not let them breathe?

2) Orphans and Widows are single lines that are separated from their context by a page brake (see the last line on the left side), an old, well known typographic desease that recently became epidemic in eBooks. Why? I just changed a single number in the existing css code in order to avoid them and it worked. Either you see at least two lines now or both of them jump to the following (resp. previous) page.

As a Designer I am familiar with typography, not with code. If there are good arguments against my proposals let me know.

For me the strongest argument about eBook esthetics is to make an eBook look better.

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