BNGO designs and produces books of all shapes and sizes: fiction, memoir, cookbooks, nonfiction, goofy joke books, and sweet bedtime stories. Kevin Callahan speaks at conferences, teaches at the University level, and gives design and production tips at Lynda.com.
There used to be two primary book formats: hardcover and paperback. Now we’ve got those, plus reflowable, fixed-layout, multitouch, and enhanced e-books.
And it used to be that hot-metal operators did the typesetting, then cold-metal keyboarders, then desktop publishers. Now (because e-books are Web pages in a different package), code warriors are part of the workflow.
BNGO, and its principal, Kevin Callahan, is a design and production studio that makes books in all those technologies. We have spec'd type for hot metal and written style sheets for computer typesetters, and we were there at the beginning of desktop. Today, we're immersed in digital publishing.
Design and Content
No two stories or memoirs are the same. It follows that no two books — print or digital — should look the same.
Our design goal is to guide readers through the text while relaying the book's character through typeface choice and styling, establishment of hierarchies, and the use of display and ornamental elements.
These design tools have predictable results in print. But digital books are another matter. An e-book reader can change the font and its size, and alter the contrast from day to night and the orientation from portrait to landscape. Digital designers have many fewer options to lock in a design and make an e-book a unique object, but we can still guide the reading experience while allowing for the device user to access the technology's options.
Some examples of e-books are on the left. Notice the color and font variety of Andrew Jenks, the intricate alignments and decorations of chat, the curvy and indented poetry by Ellen Wright in the REZ eReader, and the print-derived frontmatter treatment of The Hunger Games. And at the bottom are two examples of fixed-layout e-books: Swing with Me in My Family Tree andYear of the Jungle. Each is distinct and has a presence similar to that of print books. More details about these books, along with more samples, are available here.
On this website,
you’ll find answers to your questions (and discover solutions to dilemmas you didn’t know you had). There are discussions of problems and stumbling blocks, all handled with BNGO’s characteristic calm, efficient, and thorough search for resolution. BNGO combines experience with collaboration, working with clients and colleagues to understand the whys and hows of contemporary publishing.
What’s the best choice for your content: print, reflowable e-book, fixed-layout illustrated book, interactive, multitouch? BNGO can help figure it out, give examples of similar projects, and come up with a plan to bring your project to completion.
There are so many pieces to today's publishing puzzle that no one knows it all. That’s why we find help as needed: Web-savvy designers, coders, editors, copy editors, proofreaders, marketing pros, metadata experts, indexers.
Read the blog to find some answers, learn about options you didn’t know you had, and connect to other experts. Leave a comment to ask for more information or to suggest a post.
Kevin Callahan is a frequent speaker at conferences, including the InDesign Conference and PePcon. He teaches at the University level, writes for epubsecrets.com, and has a course on Lynda.com: Creating Fixed-layout eBooks for the Kindle.