Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Comparing different types of digital publishing, part of InDesign: EPUB Typography.
- InDesign supports several Types of Digital Publishing. Reflowable EPUBs, Fixed-layout EPUBs, Interactive PDFs, and folios created with the Digital Publishing Suite. Let's take a look at their pros and cons. Reflowable EPUBs are best suited to a continuous, linear text flow, like a novel, or any prose with a single text stream. The user can customize the size and style of the type, and EPUBs can be sold through many online retailers.
For books where the relationship of the text and image is essential, like children's books or graphic novels, a Fixed-layout EPUB is more appropriate. A Fixed-layout EPUB offers a near Pixel Perfect rendition of your page, using HTML. The text is live and searchable. But the font can't be modified by the user. Because each page is static, Fixed-layout EPUBs offer a degree of page design not possible in a Reflowable EPUB. At present, Fixed-layout EPUBs can't be sold through as many outlets as Reflowable EPUBs.
Interactive PDFs were, a few years ago, poised to revolutionize online reading. But they've been stalled in their development. They remain the best choice for onscreen presentations, and are still the easiest format to distribute, however PDFs are not easy to monetize, and support for their interactive features is very inconsistent on tablets. Magazine articles and news reports that rely upon supporting text and media to enhance the narrative are best suited to a DPS folio.
However, with Adobe dropping support for the Single Edition app, DPS may no longer be cost effective for small publishers. And Fixed-layout EPUBs have, de facto, become the choice of small publishers needing more design control over their digital publications. This course focuses on the different typographic challenges presented by Reflowable and Fixed-layout EPUBs. While Interactive PDFs and DPS folios differ from Fixed-layout EPUBs in their capabilities, because all three formats, Fixed-layout, PDF, and DPS offer a Pixel Perfect, or near Pixel Perfect rendition of the page, the aesthetic challenges are essentially the same.
Note: While most of the lessons are centered on reflowable EPUBs, specific issues for fixed-layout EPUBs are called out along the way.
- Embedding fonts
- Considering legibility and readability
- Choosing font styles
- Scaling type
- Setting color and contrast
- Threading text
- Alignment and spacing
- Incorporating typographic details: drop caps, bullets, and more