Breaking The Page: Content Design For An Infinite Canvas

Peter Meyers (Citia)
Make Astor Ballroom
Please note: to attend, your registration must include Workshops.
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Some see the iPad and think: it’s perfect for enhancing a book. This workshop is for anyone ready to think bigger. It’s time to enlist the touchscreen as more than just a container for a souped-up stack of pages. The digital display can serve as viewport onto a canvas that extends without limit—not just up, down, left, and right, but also as a creative space offering new kinds of elastic properties: accordion-like documents that house different sized versions of themselves; geometrical shapes across which viewers explore non-linear compositions; even static backgrounds upon which content continuously changes. The challenge lies in tailor-making compositions for these new contours. When you can do things like pinch and spread, refresh content, and pan across a canvas, what kinds of subject matter is best suited for these interactions?

I’ll lead workshop attendees on a tour through a half-dozen very specific examples of born-digital, tablet-friendy designs. Each will illustrate in different ways how ePub3, web-based, and app productions can do more than simply replicate, or merely enhance, a print book. I’ll also give a quick look at how to design this stuff so that, leaving the room, people will feel equipped to go out and plan their own creations. Don’t come to this session if you want yet another look at how Peter Rabbit can be repurposed. The future of publishing lies in making content that debuts on the touchscreen.

Photo of Peter Meyers

Peter Meyers


Author and digital book architect. I write about and help companies create reader-friendly digital books. Author of “Best iPad Apps” (O’Reilly, 2010). Currently writing: “Breaking the Page: Transforming Books and the Reading Experience" (O’Reilly).

I co-founded one of the first multimedia textbook publishers (Digital Learning Interactive, sold in 2004 to Thomson Learning). I’ve also written extensively about the strange and wonderful effects of computers on mainstream culture for many publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Salon, and the Village Voice. Some of my favorite pieces include a profile of Norwegian programmers who used pigeons to transmit information between computers, the evangelism of Edward Tufte’s information design seminars, and one of the earliest articles on Wikipedia I also did a tour of duty at O’Reilly Media, where I served five very happy years in the Missing Manual group, finishing up as the series’ associate publisher.

My undergraduate degree is from Harvard, where I studied American history and literature, and I have an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I live with my wife and two daughters in “upstate Manhattan” (aka Washington Heights).

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

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