4 Tips for Digital Book Design

Today at our Canadian ADE Academy I had a chance to share my experience with designing books in Pages. I wanted to share a quick set of tips and after thinking about my journey, I settled on four. I thought I would share them here too. See the captions under the pictures for a bit more of my thinking with an example book.

1 - Story Rules

When I first started designing I would go straight to the app and start messing about. Over time I've learned to slow down and sketch out my plan. Don't forget to think about how you hope to share your resource [print, .epub, PDF, both] since this will affect the number of pages and layout.

 

Sketchnote of black rectangles on a white background in the notes app. Handwritten notes and yellow highlights show the plan.
Before diving in, I sketched out the plan for the reflective digital zine to capture some glimmers from my school year. Knowing that I may want to make a print copy to pair with the digital, pages are in multiples of 4.

2 - Design Matters

Design can support or hinder the story. What colours will help tell my story? What fonts make sense?

 

A screenshot of Pages with the cover in the workspace. The cover is a gradient of pink and yellow.
Wanting a light and bright feel, pink and yellow was chosen from the colour palette. To ensure the background and images didn't compete, a black and white filter was added.

3 - What Layers Make Sense?

The awesome piece about designing in Pages is that I am not limited to texts. What media do I want to layer in? How will it help communicate my story? How can it hinder it?

 

A screenshot of the Pages app. On the workspace is a page with two black and white images over circles with guiding questions
With this digital zine being a resources to reflect and share with my school community and colleagues, the handwritten notes around images set a context and the audio note expands on the short te

4 - Let it Breathe

I find with an unlimited canvas I often catch myself SQUISHING pieces into the text. I have to remind myself to let it breathe. What can I remove from the page? What should be grouped together? What should live alone on the page?

It was fun to reflect on the process of book design and what I have learned over the last year or two.

Have a great tip for book design? I'd love to learn more.

2 replies

July 15, 2024

Such a great resource, thank you so much!

July 20, 2024

I continue to appreciate the wealth of knowledge that you share. Thank you!

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