Digital Publishing and Design

What happens when the ebook replace the paper book? The central question of this seed project is, what role design plays in transforming the cultural form we used to know as books? Some of the major changes in the publishing world include new digital production, distribution and consumption technologies, new formats, new reading technologies as well as changing roles and power relations between publishers, designers, readers, authors and other stakeholders.

While the existing research on design aspects of digital publishing has come from art history, literary and media studies, this seed project will study books as material artifacts and their interactions with stakeholder from an interdisciplinary perspective, with participations from information, design and business studies. Some cases of the seed project include studying new business models in publishing for education, changes in creative industries traditionally focused around digital print, digital learning tools, and the cultural issues and challenges of publishing in a digital age.

Some other possible research topics:

  • Elements of the digital publication – ie. dynamic typography, navigational structuring of different types of ebooks and apps, digital covers
  • New business models and reorganization of existing players in the publishing industry as a whole
  • The book as object in design history and its recent digital transformations
  • The ebook as genre in the internet age
  • Self publishing as a digitally mediated phenomenon
  • Copyright as a design problem – could it be possible to design a better rights management solution?
  • New designer roles and identities as a result of changed activity chains?

Contact: Toke Riis Ebbesen,

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