Visuality in Digital Books – Developing new forms of digital publications

The project began December 2011 and ended December 2013

Research of new forms of publications, starting point: reuse of a printed version. Research questions: which digital forms and devices are best suitable for visually rich publications ?
Developing a distribution channel for payable digital publications.
How to implement “Design once and publish many” -work flow? How to resolve DRM-issues on ecosystem with usability approach?

– five different type of ePUB tested for one book, learnings: standard ePUB (2.1) does not excel with tables, multicolumns and paratext. “Nonstandard” (fixed layout ePUB and to certain extent ePUB 3) is not compatible enough.
– three DRM-providers evaluated, learnings: general direction is for the “light-DRM” and “social-DRM” because unresolved usability issues on “hard-DRM” i.e. Adobe DRM.
– three look-a-like book techniques tested
– guidelines of “Design once and publish many” -work flow for graphic designers implemented and tested
– a modulated ePUB-product for a smartphone and iPad finished
– enriched HTML5-publications which includes new digital features under development, first titles will be published in the autumn of 2013
– development work for a distribution channel where you can buy digital publications going on, this distribution channel will be in use in the autumn of 2013
– survey of alternatives of soft-DRM going on, decisions will be made in the spring of 2013

Project lead:
Annu Ahonen ( )
Contact information:
Annu Ahonen
Managing Editor
Aalto ARTS Books
Project members:
Oliver Manner (
Jon Nykänen (
Harri Heikkilä (
Sanna Tyyri-Pohjonen (
Pia Alapeteri (
Suvi-Kukka Salonen (