Wednesday, May 25, 2011

epub 3 allows real design

I have been listening to several sessions at BEA on ePub 3, which is due for release at the "end of summer" aka something like Septemberish. It is exciting. EPub at its core permits books (ebooks) to reflow for the size of the screen (iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook etc). It has been pretty clunking and ugly in the past and the challenge for the publisher has been to make it look acceptable on all screens rather than to worry about it looking good on any screen.

There has not been much of a role for the book designer. EPub 3 changes all that and designers will be challenged to change and enrich the way they think. The page will be dynamic not static. There will be dynamic text flow across columns, around shapes, around images, border controls, finer typesetting controls and a whole host of other things a designer needs in the task of making things look good - and meaning accessible.


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