Designing for the iPad | InDesign to ePub

When I was working for Annenberg this summer, one of the projects I always had on the back burner was their effort to go green. This typically included turning off the light, surreptitiously hiding the 50 printed copies of 11x17 floorplans that got changed at the last minute at the bottom of the paper recycle, and diligently placing the separate components of  my 4 daily super fancy Californian lattes in the appropriate bins.

But being the true CS major I am, and looking around the barely tamed chaos of my small assistant desk; littered with brochures, pamphlets, and general swag (my boss Charles' off work wardrobe is almost solely comprised of free USC stuff), I couldn't help but think why do we have some much paper??

Since we also hand out iPads like candy, I figured we should also have the Emergency Procedure brochure I designed could be sent out as an epub. Not only is it paperless distribution, but it would rack up the count of relevant things the general public actually uses the iPads for to 2. 

The problem is, I wanted to retain my beautiful layout/images from the original brochure when porting it over.

(Here's some of the spreads from the original document, intended for print)

ePubs basically take all of your objects and just displays them one after another in a continuous stream. so things like footers, columns, and floating images are essentially nonexistent. Cute little superfluous dottted accent lines? It was having none of it.

InDesign though is still a little more forgiving of design eccentricities than its cheaper and more widely available ePub counterpart Pages. You can choose the order of which objects can tossed into the stream using the new Articles page, and also force more tricky (but essential) elements to rasterize and export as images.

Using a little finesse, this was the final result!

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