Out with the old and in with the new—transitioning your lifeless PDFs into stunning digital-only flipbooks


The digital space is a publishing medium which gives you the means to think outside of the box in order to maximise your content, accumulate a larger digital readership, and even boost revenue from online subscriptions. However, if you are coming from a predominantly print background, you may not be aware that what works for print doesn’t always work that well for online. Transitioning your content from print into the digital space opens up exciting new opportunities for you to re-evaluate your digital publications design concept, so make sure you take advantage of all the features up for offer in order to produce the highest quality content for online.

Click on the thumb nails below to preview both before and after examples of publications which have transitioned into stunning digital-only flipbooks.

Content Management

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Magazines for Sale

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Associations and Business Publishing

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The design stage presents an excellent opportunity for you to flex your creative muscles and bring new life to your publication.

Design with interactivity in mind. Unlike a print publication, digital publishing allows you to experiment with elements of interactivity, encouraging an exciting new level of reader engagement!

If you are looking to minimise the amount of visual elements on a page then opt for a pop-up video or image gallery instead of embedding these on the page. These interactive features can be hidden away on the page until clicked to activate.

Pop-up buttons can either be added to the PDF during the design stage or supplied post-production as a separate image file, allowing you to adjust its placement on the page as you see fit.


Don’t worry about trying to squeeze all of those images onto your page when you can both save space and boost content by adding an image gallery to the page.



Why not prompt a discourse with your readers by allowing them to easily find and engage with you via social media. Embed a dynamic twitter feed in your publication so they can post directly to your feed. Make sure to leave room on the page for any interactivity elements that you want to be embedded on the page.



Avoid cluttering up the page with large paragraphs of body text. Instead, use a callout (or ‘read-more’) to reduce the amount of text on the page, by keeping it hidden until needed.



One of the benefits of a flipbook is that it is published on a webpage, giving you room to place advertising around the flipbook as well as within it. Interactive banner ads (or masthead ads) sit above the viewer, so no matter what page your reader is on they will see it. Banner ads can be scrolling (.gif) or static images (.jpg/.png) depending on your needs.



Redesigning for Digital

Things to avoid:

  • When it comes to selecting a suitable font to use, it is highly recommended for epublishing that you steer clear of fonts that are too small, too fine, too condensed, or too pale in colour.
  • Try to avoid using a pale colour for body text on a white background as this can be difficult to read. Conversely, small, white text on a black background is also not recommended as the dark background may “shadow” the white text.
  • While you may be looking to maximise the content you deliver to your readers through interactive elements, you must also make sure that these do not overwhelm the publication, and that you are presenting this content in an organised and coherent way.
  • At the same time, neglecting to use any interactive elements at all may seem like a wasted opportunity to easily add extra value to your content and thus boost reader engagement.



  • For digital-only publications landscape pages are a great design choice as they allow you to optimise your page layout.
  • For text heavy publications use a callout or “read-more” pop up to avoid cluttering up your page with body text.
  • Body copy should be created at 12-14 point font.
  • When picking colours for your fonts keep in mind that contrast is important, especially when publishing for online.
  • Identify the common themes and styles (visual, informative, social, etc.) running through your publication, and then utilise interactive elements that are compatible with your marketing strategy. It is a good idea to determine early on the amount of interactivity you wish to enhance your publication with as this will help you out immensely during the design stage.
  • Make sure your text remains selectable in your final PDF to not only ensure it is searchable, but also so that all URLs and email addresses can be automatically picked up and hyperlinked during the production stage.
  • Optimise your design for paragraph-heavy text. Instead of trying to fit all of your text onto a PDF page, use a callout (or ‘read-more’) to save some space for other more visually engaging design elements.
  • To avoid colour inconsistencies when your pages are converted, set your colour model to RGB and not CMYK when you export to PDF.




With the free account, Realview allows individuals and publishers to do away with the learning curve of traditional layout and design software, so both new and experienced designers will feel comfortable in creating immersive multi-platform digital editions. We also understand that each digital project is different and there maybe some enhancements and features that suit some more than others. In this case, it’s always best to contact us; sit down with our friendly graphic design group, who are always happy to help!