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Introduction to Digital Publishing

| November 12, 2013 | 3 Comments

digital publishing

Digital publishing is the future of magazine publishing. At least we all hope that it is! Tablet devices, although only a few years in circulation, have spread around the globe and have become new toys that we all love to fiddle with. 

Almost simultaneously with the arrival of the first tablet, the iPad, magazine publishers started to convert their publications to this new medium. Digital magazine publishing is still something new and we as creators of such publications are still learning the process of successful publication creation.

The design principles are a bit different from print, and the biggest problem is adjusting the magazine to look good on so many devices that are on the market today. Besides iPad, which is de facto standard, you have to choose on which tables you are going to publish your work.

This means adjusting the layout or even creating the new one to fit other screen sizes and resolutions. And all this means much more work. Not to mention choosing between the orientation. Will you be doing portrait only magazine, or portrait and landscape, which translates into twice the work?

Today on the market there are several platforms through which you can create and publish your magazine. Some are capable of producing truly amazing applications and are using all capabilities that the tablets have to offer. Others are just creating so called digital replica which is based on PDF files with the added functionality of slide shows, sound listening and movie viewing. Digital replica platforms do not offer full tablet functionality and can be frustrating to view on smartphones.

Although digital replica platforms are widely spread and magazines created in this way sell in big numbers, this way of creating digital magazines does not have a bright future.

Users today want more and these platforms cannot deliver what users want. In my opinion this is why editorial designers should focus on digital publishing platforms that can deliver truly engaging experience for the reader.

Today there are few such platforms. Adobe Digital Publishing, Aquafadas Digital Publishing, Mag+, Quark Dynamic Publishing and WoodWing.

These platforms offer great possibilities for designers and all of them are based on software solutions already known to us. It does not matter if you work in InDesign or QuarkXPress, you can easily start to create digital publications in your preferred software.

Yes, we will have to start learning again, but this is good. Since we are already familiar with the applications used to create digital magazines, now we only need to learn new skills and design principles that work.

Since these principles are still new and are not set in stone we can play with them and go through trial and error process.

Some principles do work and are already established but digital publishing is so new and design territory is still uncharted and new possibilities and concepts arise on a daily basis.

We at Magazine Designing are new to all this also. We have to learn just like you and as we learn we will share this knowledge.

We will talk to some of the experts in this field who already have big knowledge about it and if you are experienced in digital publishing please feel free to contact us and share some of the knowledge with us or correct us if we wrote something that you think is wrong.

Looking forward to all this and we are sure it will be fun.

After this introduction, you can jump to our digital publishing checklist which will answer some of the questions you may have about how to start designing for tablet devices.

Photo credit: romainguy / / CC BY-NC-SA

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Category: Digital Pub

Comments (3)

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  1. Tamiko White says:

    I need as much info on how I can start my first online magazine.

  2. Hey guys! Here’s the article about digital magazines design:
    It’s full of tips related to cover design, layout preparation and typography choice.

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