Check out the latest 12 Spokes launch!
We’re happy to introduce The Wisdom of Others this week! Here’s how it works. Say you’ve got some friends getting married, and you want to give them some advice from their friends and family as a personalized wedding gift. Ask a question—like “What is the secret to a happy marriage?”—then invite friends and family to share their thoughts and answers. Their contributions go into a bound book that you can give the newlyweds (or the new parents, or the new grad, etc).
This site has been awesome to work on, with a couple of cool technical challenges, and we thought we’d share a couple of the bits and pieces that went into building it.
The Book Preview. This is the heart and soul of the application. We devised a pretty little way using booklet.js and css fonts to preview what your book will look before it’s printed! Check out the Book Examples page to get a glimpse.
The Look and Feel. It was essential that everything flow together nicely right from the start and the brand be as unique as the books when the app launched. We decided to use paper textures and letter-pressing to give the site that book-ish feel—along with lots of awesome icons! We incorporated design elements on every page to keep it seamless through your whole stay on the site.
Multiple Formats and Styles. Book creators and contributors are able to purchase their book in a variety of formats, including a print version, which is sent off to the publisher after an order is placed, as well as digital PDF and ePub versions. There are also several designs to choose from (different fonts, colors, etc). We had to keep the styles for all of the formats in sync and easy to maintain, which we dealt with by sharing resources wherever possible. For example, the print and PDF versions are generated the same way, with Prawn. Surprisingly, we were able to use the markup and styles from the book preview to generate an ePub, as we discovered during development that an ePub isn’t much more than a zip file containing HTML and CSS.
All in all, it was an excellent project to design & develop and everyone at 12 Spokes is excited to see it take off! So head on over to The Wisdom of Others and start collecting your own little book of life instructions!