From the Design Desk: Re-Imagining Books as eBooks

At a publishing house like Chronicle that produces beautiful books it’s hard to imagine wanting to change them. In the world of ebooks though, there are certain things that don’t translate well from print book to ebook. So what do we do when we’re faced with difficult decisions like how a finished ebook should look? We take inspiration from the fabulous designs in the print book! Here are a few recent projects that were designed to look like the print version:

Beer Makes Daddy Strong

Beer Makes Daddy Strong was one of my favorite books to work on along with Wine Makes Mommy Clever simply because the books are so funny! Andy Riley cracks “punny” and witty jokes alike, I’m not going to lie I caught myself reading the pages often when I was supposed to be working on the ebook. Oops! In this particular case we made the ebook look just like the print book.

Newborn Puppies

Newborn Puppies

This brand new book, Newborn Puppies, is adorable in print. With beautiful colors and spreads full of adorable dogs all under 3 weeks old it was a pleasure to work on the ebook. We decided to keep some of the color (and of course all of the puppies!) in a variety of ways like these fun line breaks.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

I’m new to San Francisco, so when Golden Gate Bridge showed up on my list of ebooks I was delighted. It’s chock full of illustrations and little known facts about the famous art deco inspired bridge. Did you know that several branches of the military proposed color schemes like yellow and black stripes? Personally I’m happy with the orange. We kept all of the fonts and illustrations from the print book and tried to include some of the decorative touches from the print pages.

A Sky Full of Kindness

A Sky Full of Kindness is a book composed entirely of paper cuttings. Yes that’s right, those delicate little birds were cut out of paper. We were able to preserve the pages as they appear in the print book and even better you can zoom in on these intricate pieces of art.

We Love Madeleines

We Love Madeleines made me hungry just looking at it! Chronicle Books spent a lot of time working on the Apple iBook version of this print book. It’s full of gorgeous and colorful photos, decorative borders and of course delicious recipes. We were able to alter the print format to fit the iBook so it looks just as stunning as the print version!



I didn’t work on Miette personally but I couldn’t resist putting it in among my favorites. The iBook version is the one pictured above and even has the print versions scalloped edges. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful ebook cookbooks I own.

That wraps up a very short list of my favorite titles (trust me there are many more). But its a nice collection of eBook titles that were modeled after the original print books. Now we’re working on enhancing the print content with things like audio and video and as ereaders get more advanced, we’ll be able to add even more content.

Veronica Thompson
Digital Media Design Fellow


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