Content meant to be read on every screen
Roger Black is a designer who likes to read. He’s redesigned some of the world’s most readable publications and founded a font bureau for readable typography. Now with partner Filipe Fortes, a computer scientist and user-experience expert, he’s created a platform for narrative in the digital diaspora.
Roger’s latest startup, Treesaver, applies classic structures of the best publication design to the messy plumbing of the web. Take a beautifully designed publication such as National Geographic and convert it into a reading experience on a computer screen or digital device. Treesaver applies the metaphors of effective publication design to screens of any size — desktop or laptop, smartphone or tablet. It organizes content into pages, then adjusts and scales the layout to the size of the screen. It works on any device that has a web browser.
Mediamakers got an early look at Treesaver, then in development, at We Media’s “Tabula Rasa” event last spring. Designers were impressed with its devotion to bringing reading-worthy typography to the web, as well as its time-tested hierarchal structures for organizing text and images. Publishers liked the way it transported brands established in print to web-based formats across digital platforms. We saw the practical: a design once, publish many times solution that doesn’t require teams of designers for every platform.
The market-ready version is now available with previews from first clients, digital weeklies from Nomad Editions and projects from the Center of Public Integrity/International Consortium of Investigative Reporters. Test drive.
Dale is co-founder emeritus of We Media.