What are the characteristics of each book type? What are the design elements of the book that are mutual to all sorts? Which of them is relevant to the digital reading experience and which will not be necessary, or can be presented differently?
In this chapter, we list the different types of books, followed by book-design elements. In the case of the atlas, cookbook and encyclopedia, we have already given a brief summary and a summary direction to the final form. We would experiment with this list of components in the following phase.
Atlas; An atlas is a collection of topographic maps and images, but it can also contain graphs about, for example, population growth, migration or export. The word “atlas” was first used by the Fleming Gerardus Mercator. With that word, he was the first to refer to a collection of maps in book form.
Typography: sans serif with heads in capitals that are at the top of the page mirror. Margin: An Atlas has relatively small margins, which reinforces the feeling that the book gives a lot of information per page. Use of colour: The design is rich and uses colours that intuitively match the subject – water is blue, the grass is green, etc., of course, there are exceptions. Navigation: An atlas does not have to be read from A to Z and has different ways of navigating, such as the table of contents, the register or the headlines at the top of the page.
Cookbook; A cookbook contains recipes for the preparation of food and information about the preparation of food in general. Cookbooks sometimes become real bestsellers. Apart from recipes, a cookbook also contains useful information, definitions or descriptions of preparation techniques and weight tables. Cookbooks are usually divided into different chapters, each dealing with a different type of dish (starters, main courses, desserts etc.).
Typography: An introductory text is followed by a list of ingredients and instructions for use. These three elements have a different hierarchy in the text to make them even more different from each other. Use of colour: Where old cookbooks hardly use photos, the current cookbooks are often rich in vivid images. Navigation: In addition to a table of contents, the book is usually divided into categories. Western cookbooks index recipes based on ingredients, and there is therefore often an ingredient list at the back.
Encyclopedia; An encyclopedia is a structured, written collection of terms. It often includes additional material such as images and links to other terms. A well-known digital translation is Wikipedia.
Typography: Usually, an encyclopedia consists of a page layout of several columns where a lot of information is given in small caps. Sometimes in combination with an image. Margin: The margins are tight, which reinforces the feeling that the book provides a lot of information per page. Use of colour: photos and informational graphics are often shown in colour. Navigation: page number is at the top, along with the first topic of the page on the left and the last topic on the right.
French Title Page
Number of Words per Line
Throughout the years, certain types of content have developed recognisable design features.
In the next phase, we would test those features in the digital realm. Experimenting can be done as workshops for publishers and book designers, as a mean to open up for new possibilities.