Design this book
April 11, 2011 § 8 Comments
Together we’re writing the book on the future of open learning. So what should the graphic design look like?
We’re turning “Learning, Freedom and the Web” into a book. The writing is mostly done. And now graphic designer Chris Appleton has shared his proposed visual language and design elements. In typical Mozilla / open education fashion, we’re doing it in the open. Please share your feedback as comments on this post for…
- GRAPHIC DESIGN. The initial design language and elements (PDF)
- DESIGN BRIEF. Chris’s design notes (blog post)
- CONTENT. All the content and writing for the book (docx) (updated web version coming here soon)
Today’s feedback from the community
The initial designs were presented in today’s weekly Mozilla Drumbeat call. The general response:
- Positive. “The layout captures the pulse of the event.”
- Drumbeat-y. “I like that the photos have a mix of tone and colour shade. Gives it a DIY feel of collaboration”
- Headed in the right direction. With specific ideas for improvement below.
“How To” sections
The goal of the book’s “How To” sections is to give concrete, DIY activities for putting ideas into practice.
- Positive response to the idea…
- e.g., Atul: “The howto section makes it easy for someone flipping through the book to get a good feel for what the festival was about — and what they could actually do with the book to dig deeper.”
- …But also a feeling we can do more.
- Can we make these pages more visually distinctive from the rest of the book?
- Vanessa: “Can we step out the process a little more, either by numbering or boxing? Wired does this really well.”
- Could be more diagram/flowchart-y. Right now the icons are kinda small. More visual thinking, a la XPLANE, instead of a generic festival photo.
- “Chris is really brilliant at infographic / flowchart stuff. Not sure we’re taking full advantage of it.”
- Add a one-bullet summary for each step in the “how to” process.
- To set up each one. e.g., “Step 1: Lay it out… Step 2: Define criteria… Step 3: Sign contracts… Step 4: Share contributions… Step 5: Get feedback….”
Not sure about those curved dotted lines
- Mixed response to the curved dotted lines superimposed on some pages (above). They add noise, without much value?
- They pull in some of the festival branding — but are also kinda distracting.
- “Maybe blending them back a bit? And placing them behind the text?”
- Branding. Add a small Mozilla wordmark to the footer of each page. The individual pages will probably be cut up and pieced out a bunch of different ways — so needs small branding element throughout, not just on the cover.
- Legibility. “I think that the orange is a bit difficult to read, particularly in sections where the font is smaller.” Vanessa: “I find the black text and the white text on that ‘Describe the Qualities’ page difficult to read.”
- Call outs. Large blocks of call-out text (e.g., like page 2 above) are too long and not that readable. “Pull quotes that are 1/2 page are sizable.”
- Attribution. Don’t forget attribution for the photos.
- Margins. Let’s make sure the margins are sufficient for book binding?
- CC licensing? Will this be released CC BY or freer (CC0)?
- B&W? How would this look in black & white for cheaper printing? e.g., if someone wanted to print a black and white version, would it still work / be legible?
- Color palette? Are there ways to make the color palette consistent with the original Learning, Freedom and the Web brand? (black, red, white)?
- Is the writing on projects still up to date? It was written in Nov. The projects have evolved quite a bit. Projects leads should take a look at their sections and make sure nothing’s missing.
- How’s the book going to be published? Ensure HTML and epub versions.
- Overall length. Are there concerns about length of the text as a whole? Is there a target page count?
We’ll roll as much of this feedback as possible into the next iteration. But before then we need your feedback. Please share as comments on this post.