|On 26/05/2013 ryguy wrote:
>the format is clean, it works great...but the stampeding application of
>this same exact format to every new guidebook in eastern australia is a
>bit characterless. To me, it's taking the fun out of exploring a new crag
>since the book I'm holding is so similarly designed to the others.
Ryan, thanks for this feedback. It's a very interesting point and I very much take it on board. Of course we haven't quite produced every recent guidebook in Easter Australia, and there are still a few guidebooks like the Nowra one if you're looking for something with a really special character... Also with this Araps book you'll see there are some differences with the other books we've produced (besides the obvious size difference), for example, it has minimal use of icons -- in part because that was the authors preference but also because we decided on what we thought was appropriate for this area and for this book. That all said -- I do take your point.
I'd like to take this opportunity to explain some of the things we've been doing with these guidebooks; because yes, this new Araps book does have some similarities with the Grampians, Queensland and Blue Mtns books we've previously produced. Some of the similarities have been deliberate -- and these are the things that I wouldn't change from the other books we've produced: Firstly, colour coding to indicate trad/mixed/sport, I think this is the fastest and best way to convey this info, and I wouldn't want to confuse people by changing this between areas/books now (that said, note that since the Blue Mtns books we have done away with the yellow "Sport on Carrots" colour and added a separate carrot symbol instead). Secondly, colouring to indicate different areas, this could be more subtle and applied in different ways but I do believe this significantly speeds up use of the book (faster when flipping between areas, contents, and maps -- and re-finding a page when you re-open the book). Thirdly, design, there is certainly room for some differences/changes there but the thing I will always aim for is "tight" design -- and by that I mean: minimal use of white space, generally keeping the size of action photos small (at the end of the day of it's a guidebook), and keeping graphics clean and not unnecessarily complicated -- basically maximising usability whilst ensuring there isn't unnecessary pages (unnecessary page turning, weight and bulk, and wasted paper) added. I hope that explains some of the similarities.
Anyway, I'm thinking ahead to the next Blue Mtns edition, which might get some big changes, and I'll definitely be keeping your point in mind. Thanks again.