DHH’s RailsConf 2008 Keynote
We will always debate: the quality of the paper, the pixel density of the display; the cloth used on covers, the interface for highlighting; location by page, location by paragraph.
This is not what matters. Surface is secondary.
What are the core systems comprising the future book? What are the tools that need to be built?
As designers we will need to provide the scaffolding for these systems. The interfaces for these tools. Not just as surface, but holistically—understanding the shifting of emotional space, the import of the artifact, the evocation of a souvenir, digitally.
How will we surface the myriad data just below the words of digital books in organic, clean and deliberately designed ways? How will we shape the future book?
Craig Mod is a writer, designer and publisher concerned with the future of books, publishing, and storytelling. He lives in a tiny Bay Area village in the California full of dreamers, endless yogurt, and trees that let loose money when shaken just so. His writing appears mainly on his website, but has also appeared in the New Scientist, The New York Times, and A List Apart. He works as a designer for Flipboard.
The relationship between digital and physical products is larger than if it exists on a hard drive or a shelf. It’s the tension between access and ownership, searching and finding, sharing and collecting. It’s a dance between the visible and the invisible, and what happens when we’re forced to remember versus when we are allowed to forget. How does this affect us—not just as makers, but as consumers of these products? Does collecting things matter if we don’t revisit them? We may download, bookmark, tag, organize, and star, but what then?
A digital Zen master would say that if everything is starred, nothing is. We’ve optimized the system for getting things in, but how do we get something good out? How can we make meaningful connections between all of this stuff, and make constellations out of all these stars?
Frank Chimero is a graphic designer and illustrator. He makes pictures about words and words about pictures. His fascination with the creative process, curiosity, and visual experience informs all of his work. Each piece is part of an exploration in finding wit, surprise, and joy in the world around us, then, trying to document those things with all deliberate speed.