Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Using drop caps, part of InDesign CC EPUB Typography.
- Drop Caps are a time honored device for signaling the start of a chapter or section. They also provide some graphic interest in a sea of text but they are handled inconsistently across eReaders. For example, look how the drop cap is displayed in the Kindle previewer. Another problem which I touched on in a previous movie is that drop caps are usually combined with small caps, with the first few words after the drop cap set in small caps to create a visual transition from big to small.
As we saw, small caps do not fair well in an EPUB. Personally I think the best solution is just to avoid drop caps. A drop cap is just after all just one solution to a section opening. No one's gonna miss a drop cap if it's not there. Just so long as there's a clear visual cue like no first line indent and a space above, that the reader should start here. And this is an EPUB, it's not a medieval manuscript. We don't need to shoehorn a graphic solution born out of a particular problem into an entirely different situation where it has no historical relevance.
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