View Full Version : Your favorite EPUB designs

08-27-2011, 03:16 AM
I thought it would be good to share examples of well designed EPUBs.

There are some great examples of what can be done with CSS at but I haven't seen these on an ereader to confirm they look good on a device.

There are a few basic standards that EPUBs should meet, outlined clearly here:

By sharing examples of well designed EPUBs, hopefully we can see a benchmark emerge.

NB: I don't have anything to share myself at this point. Hopefully more experienced ereaders/designers can get things started.

08-27-2011, 06:52 AM
IGP deserves a mention (or actually it might be people at Canongate, whoever did Pereira Maintains, anyway).

They have the typographical savvy to specify vertical margins in increments of the line-height, which earns them a lot of brownie points, and I was impressed by their use of JavaScript to inject the span tags needed to make iBooks work properly, rather than littering them in the text to burden other readers.

There are a few basic standards that EPUBs should meet, outlined clearly here:

Wow, that list is so basic it's a joke:
"3. Order of content: check of the content to be sure that none of it is missing or rearranged." - yes, it would be nice if the ePub didn't have any missing chapters.
"12. Symbols: Text does not contain odd characters." - yes, it would be nice if your readers could actually read your book.
"13. Metadata: Basic metadata for the title (author, title, etc.) is in place and accurate." - yes, it would be nice if people could actually find out what book this is.

08-31-2011, 03:58 AM
Yeah, standards are still low huh! I can't believe how lo-tech ebooks are, in theory, yet how many hurdles we have to deal with to achieve the most basic standards across all devices. Seems crazy in this era.

I'll hunt that book down for a look. Have you tried it on various devices? That javascript for spans sounds great!

08-31-2011, 07:11 AM
Javascript will not be supported untill ePUB 3, you are aware of that?

I must admit that when I hear the word Javascript I never get a 'great' feeling, but more a 'yuck' feeling...

08-31-2011, 08:14 AM
But if it's only used to work around iBooks bugs, since iBooks apparently supports javascript, it could be a valid and less intrusive solution. Like using the page template to work around ADE's bugs.

08-31-2011, 10:01 AM
I understand the reasoning, but I feel that this is not the correct way. This will undoubtedly cause compatibility issues with other readers or when the ePUB3 is approved and introduced. That would cause a necessary rework of the current ePUBs.

I feel it would be better to use either another reader application or trying to persuade Apple to support (open) standards. Although the latter would probably be virtually impossible due to Apple's position and attitude.

09-01-2011, 04:13 AM
Any other recommended designs? Not so much looking for tech savvy, enhanced editions - just visually pleasing typography that works well across various devices?

09-01-2011, 12:39 PM
Zelda's three men in a boat is an excellent download from this site.