Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting layouts, part of Adapting a Print Layout for Digital Publishing.
Sometimes when you go from print to digital you have to change not just the content but the size and orientation of the document itself. When you do you have a choice. You can either rebuild the layout in a fresh document or you can adjust it. In this movie we'll see how this job can also be a great opportunity to completely transform the look and feel of a print layout. Here's the original print layout in InDesign with a six by nine trim size. Now if I'm going to Reflowable ePub there's really no reason to change this.
It's a very linear design and the main thing I might need to do is just anchor the images so they appear at the right point in the content. But for the other formats where you have more design control, you might want to export some test files and look at them on an iPad or other device, see what they look like and plan your changes from there. Keeping the layout close to what it was in print obviously can save you time and effort but there's also an opportunity here. If we're going to see this content in a whole new medium, like an iPad, you might want to take full advantage of its strengths.
The high res screen, the rich color and a different orientation can make this feel like something more than just a recycled print book. And since you don't have to worry about fitting stuff into a specific number of printed pages, you can take this exact same content and give it more of a visually impactful design, with larger images and type. Maybe something more like a coffee table book or a magazine. And if I switch over to the Adobe Content Viewer you can see what I mean. Here I have the same content that was in the print layout but with a different approach for on-screen reading.
What I've done here is to create a new DPS folio, 10 24 by seven 68 in PDF landscape only format. And because I had a high res photo of the first cheese and it had a wonderful detailed texture, I scaled it up really large. Now it feels like you could almost smell it. You can really take advantage of the brightness and sharpness of a high res iPad screen in ways that four color printed pages just can't match. And having access to Adobe's Typekit fonts I started experimenting with some different type effects to find something more energetic and less formal than the print layout had.
On the next page the image is repeated smaller and the layout isn't all that different from the print version. The main change here is that all the type is set in larger point sizes and leading, especially the opening two paragraphs were made much larger. A good rule of thumb for on-screen readability is 60 to 80 characters per line. And if I go to InDesign and look at this layout file, I can open the info panel by choosing window, info and select a line of text and I can see how many characters it is.
My opening paragraph is a little bit short, around 40 to 45 characters per line. But that's okay, it's meant to be big and bold and draw the reader in. The next paragraph is right in the sweet spot at about 75 characters per line. On the next page, I didn't want the lines of text to go all the way across the top of the page, but I didn't have any more photos to break this section up. So I chose to go with a a two column layout with a nice big gutter of about 30 pixels and here I get about 50 characters per line in these paragraphs.
And for the final section on brie, I wanted to set off the text and make it feel like a special feature. So I out a frame behind it and I use InDesign's eye dropper tool to sample a tan color from the handle of the knife. Again I made the heading a lot larger, this is 70 point type here. And I switch to a font that was designed for on-screen reading, Georgia Bold Italic. And I made the last image larger and bled it off the bottom of the page. Almost as a hint that there's more to see below like an invitation to keep swiping the screen to the next page.
These visual metaphors take on new meaning in the context of how we use our mobile devices. And that, along with more vibrant images, new fonts and larger type are some of the things you can experiment with when you're adjusting a print layout for the screen.
- Choosing the right format
- Evaluating assets
- Making design and editorial decisions
- Scanning assets
- Adjusting layouts
- Adding new media