Does Our Future Require “Subcompact Publishing”?

Mon, Dec 3, 2012

Commentary, Digital Publishing

Craig Mod published some excellent thoughts and examples of “simple” publishing in his remarkably insightful “Subcompact Publishing”. If you’re concerned with the future (and present!) of publishing, you’ll enjoy reading it here.

For example, here is one excerpt:


  • Subcompact Publishing tools are first and foremost straightforward.
  • They require few to no instructions.
  • They are easily understood on first blush.
  • The editorial and design decisions around them react to digital as a distribution and consumption space.
  • They are the result of dumping our publishing related technology on a table and asking ourselves — what are the core tools we can build with all this stuff?


and here’s another excerpt:


I propose Subcompact Publishing tools and editorial ethos begin (but not end) with the following qualities:
  • Small issue sizes (3-7 articles / issue)
  • Small file sizes
  • Digital-aware subscription prices
  • Fluid publishing schedule
  • Scroll (don’t paginate)
  • Clear navigation
  • HTML(ish) based
  • Touching the open web


This post was written by:

- who has written 1638 posts on Planet Quark.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

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