As my term project is developing templates and generating both Setonian Magazine documents (eBook and physical magazine), I took some time to look at both. Part of my investigation has been done previously, but it’s worth looking into yet again. I tried to find a balance between iBooks sources and physical magazine sources, but one thing worth noting is that searching for “magazine layout designs” often resulted in wordpress layout templates. This is a true sign that we’re moving away from the world of digital media to pursue the possibilities within wordpress. It also fits in with Cogntive Surplus, as we’re continuing to push past the primary intentions of wordpress (to host a blog) by creating our own custom code to suit the needs of our readers.
Even with these setbacks, however, I was able to find a lot of useful information once I realized I’d need to be very patient. Below are just a few highlighted websites and resources I studied for EX4.
1. Apple Forum I have looked here in the past but never found anything as useful as I did in this forum post. In the past, I used the Apple forum to research the basic functionality and troubleshooting complaints associated with iBooks Author. This was the source I turned to primarily when I realized it wouldn’t be “simple” to create your own template….The question posed in this specific thread dealt how to generate your own templates, and one of the posts gave this response when dealing with the items that seem locked in place: “The small lines can be changed by selecting them, then using ‘Unlock’ from the Arrange menu.”
2. Publishing with iBooks Author This book is going to be a honest-to-God lifesaver when I’m working on developing the iBooks author template and importing information. It offers easy to follow and read instructions for how to make the most out of using this new program—and it also points out some of the major setbacks we’ll face. It is basically a documentation of sorts for being successful with this endeavor. My favorite aspect of the book is the fact that it doesn’t just praise the usefulness of the product. It blatantly points out flaws and isn’t afraid to admit that InDesign will offer more options. Did you know that a book generated in iBooks Author is only going to work with an Apple device? And, did you know that iBooks Author is basically a hyped-up version of Apple’s previous hit, Pages? The authors of this book cover this information and so much more in their hundred-or-so pages.
3. Magazine Layouts for Inspiration 20 Magazine Spread Layouts for Inspiration is a website dedicated to criticizing and praising useful magazine spreads. I noticed that the majority of these were very image-heavy and it appears that graphics are more important on the starting page of articles rather than words. The only downside to this source is that it doesn’t go very deeply into how your third and fourth pages should look. It focuses on the design-heavy portions. Even so, it’s given me a lot of useful feedback on what elements I’d like to include in our magazine.
4. Lifehacker.com The article, “How to design your own iBook ,” This source will prove almost as useful as the book I outlined earlier. It really highlights on the supplementary material you can include in your iBook. This stems far beyond simply including galleries and iMovie files. Users can also incorporate “HTML Snippets” to stream content live from the web as well as Keynote Presentations. I’ll have to look into Keynote, but I’m betting we could make some pretty spectacular “infographics” using Keynote. It might have to “play” rather than have interactivity, but I’m sure our users would be interested nonetheless.
5. More Magazine Templates Design Freebies showed a variety of very simple designs but had a knack for flow. It used a lot of photos, but organized them in such a way that they were not distracting from the text, but rather complimenting it. Where the previous magazine layout website lacked information for internal pages, Design Freebies made up for it and then some. The majority of these spreads have a balance of images and text. Furthermore, it shows the flow of multiple articles using the same design elements, which helps me to better understand how to make subtle differences while staying true to the actual theme of our magazine.
6. iBooks Author: An ebook publisher looks Apple’s textbook creation app This site pointed out that we’ll be able to import not only iMovies but also Keynote presentations and movies into iBooks. This little bit of information could prove very useful when it comes time to generate some awesome infographics. I placed it further down on the list because it includes information I had already learned from other sources.
7. iBooks Template Apps Themes for iBooks and Templates for iBooks are two apps available for download ($16.99 and $4.99 respectively), but I wasn’t totally impressed with what they were offering either. I am considering purchasing Templates for iBooks Author, simply to see exactly how the company made these custom layout templates. I might also take the time to utilize aspects and portions of different designs to create a full package for our readers. We don’t have to keep the same format the whole way through; perhaps it would be useful to have these once my layout buddies start helping me to flesh out the pages…
8. iBooksauthortemplates.com http://www.ibooksauthortemplates.com/templates/details/Portfolio The root of this website provides users with templates available for download for $20. They *must* be premium templates since they are so expensive. Although they’re quite beautiful, this is at the bottom of my list simply because there are free templates online.
9. BestIndesign.com Although these magazine templates cost money to purchase, they offer free previews, which is worth so much more in comparison. I’ve already found several aspects that I’d like to incorporate. For example, for their table of contents, the semi-featured stories share a common theme of rectangular thumbnail images above the headline for the article. So simple, and yet so useful!
10. Online Magazine Website Templates Although we’re not looking to revise the Setonian Online again for a while—or maybe we are—this website offers a lot of templates and information on creating custom magazine templates for wordpress. Like I noted in my introduction, a lot of the information provided online referenced online magazine templates rather than physical ones.
So now comes the hard part….I have NO idea how to translate my research into an infographic. Perhaps I can do something along the lines of information about the components of each. What makes each useful? How do you transition from one to the other? That sort of thing. We shall see….