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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme

Building a safety net for book designs

When Thu 13 Sep 1510
Where Arenberg Theater
What
Who Eric Menninga
Aldous Huxley wrote in 1928, “Machines exist; let us then exploit them to create beauty – a modern beauty… For we live in the 20th century… As an ordinary reader, who cannot afford to buy handmade books, I object to the archaizing printer.” How do we who live with 21st century machines approach book design? Developers of a tool like InDesign avoided placing restrictions on designs; instead, developers gave full control to end-users, with the expectation that if the designer produced something ugly, they were responsible for recognizing and fixing it. When designers work on a print project, they carefully choose and review each component to create a more pleasing final product. However, in digital publishing, developers must take some of that responsibility. How should they develop and code safety nets to allow for different book designs while preventing ugliness as much as possible? Unlike printed books, an electronic book may be viewed on different screens, at different point sizes, and without the benefit of a graphic designer previewing the results. This talk will discuss some typography and layout problems that the Amazon Kindle Rendering Team has solved or is working on to improve digital book layouts.

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