Classics on a Cloud

The Problem

As mobile devices, tablets and e-readers are becoming increasingly accessible, libraries are becoming digitized. There is a level of care given to printed books — from size, to material, to carefully crafted typography — that is not often found in digital books. Many digital books, especially public domain books, are displayed online with minimal thought to readability and appearance. I wanted to bring carefully designed digital books to an audience growing up increasingly more dependent upon technology: children.

My Process


I wanted to bring the same level of care to digital books that many printers bring to printed books. First, I compiled a list of classic children’s literature that I wanted to make more accessible to kids. Next, I checked the availability of these books on Project Gutenberg and used their text to populate the site.

This one was of the first projects I’ve designed completely in browser. I did a set of (incredibly rough) sketched wireframes, then used Photoshop for asset generation, but the actual design of the site was all done directly in code.

I styled the site rather minimally so that the focus was upon the content and illustrations of each book. I used Rooney web, a beautiful serif typeface with a large x-height, and displayed it at a large font size, ample line-height, and short line-length to optimize readability.


Classics on a Cloud is still very much an ongoing process. I’m working on making it functional and beautiful on all screen sizes, with specific care given to tablet, which I see as potentially being my biggest target to hit. I’ve started adding some retina support and will continue to do so as I iterate.

You can view the work-in-progress of Classics on a Cloud here.

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