The Commodore 64 Book - released in MARCH 2008

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merman
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The Commodore 64 Book - released in MARCH 2008

Post by merman »

You can now pre-order your copy of "The Commodore 64 Book 1982 - 19xx" from the website at:

http://c64goldenyears.com


This is the follow-up to Andrew Rollings' ZX Spectrum Book that was released at the end of 2006. You can find out more about that title at http://zxgoldenyears.com

Author Andrew Fisher, who has written for magazines including Commodore Force, Commodore Format and Retro Gamer, will be covering over 200 classic (and not so classic) Commodore titles, with fascinating trivia about the machine, the programmers and companies and the games themselves.


Note that the book will have a limited print run, and pre-ordering will help guarantee the book goes to print.
Last edited by merman on 07/03/2008 - 11:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by merman »

New preview chapter online at

http://www.c64goldenyears.com/sample/1982_web.pdf

Feedback welcome!
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Post by k_rostoen »

Not to be rude or anything, but I haven't seen a book design worse than this in a long long time. Though the content may be nice enough, I think you/they should spend some more time on presentation before trying to sell it.
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Post by Analog-X64 »

Now I cant remember if I preordered this book back in feb or not.
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Post by Chris Abbott »

k_rostoen wrote:Not to be rude or anything, but I haven't seen a book design worse than this in a long long time. Though the content may be nice enough, I think you/they should spend some more time on presentation before trying to sell it.
If you're going to launch a globally damning comment like that, I think you owe them more detailed feedback about why you feel like that. What's wrong with it? Why is it so bad?

Without that extra information, you are indeed being rude.

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Post by merman »

Thanks Chris, I can fight my own battles ;)

Seriously, k, an explanation would be helpful. Is it the picture behind the text? The drop shadows?

Bear in mind there is a lot of text to pack into each page, plus the design is an evolution of the earlier Spectrum Book...
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Post by k_rostoen »

You're both right and I'm sorry, I could have given a better explanation. I'll give it a try here.

First of all the pages needs more air. The line-height is too small and the text is too close to the pictures (and the pictures "subtext"). Add that to the very wide coloumns (if it was up to me I would have divided the coloumns into atleast two coloumns) and you get a very heavy read.

The medium dark background along with the dark text with drop shadow doesn't help reading experience (I am talking about page two here). Sometimes less is more and I would definitely remove the drop shadow. Personally I would lighten up the background a whole lot more (perhaps even more than what you've done on page 4), but I can respect that people have various opinions on that.

Speaking of text I see appx. 5 fonts here. A "golden rule" says you should avoid more than 3 fonts on a page. The first thing I would do was to change the font on the image subtext. It does not fit in with the rest of the font selection.

I think this should do for now. Again, I'm sorry for the first post, I see that it came out a bit more harsh than it was intended to. I do like the initiative of making such a book, but when the pages are so packed with information I think you should pay extra attention to the presentation to make it readable for the user.
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Post by beyond »

I can only see the first page as the pdf takes down my browser - I'll have a look at it when I come home.

From what I can see some improvements could be made to get better legibility, though. Layout (in general) is not easy and as I wrote earlier on my comments on the BIT poster: simplicity is most important. I haven't seen the ZX book but your book deserves the best layout, Merman, especially if you want it to be a smash hit :-)

I spent a whole month doing the 16 pages for the RUN/STOP RESTORE booklet and I still wasn't really satisfied with it (especially the cover *sigh*).

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Post by merman »

Hi, I've been having the same problem with the PDF's myself!

I just did a simple HTML page that links to it, thus

<a href="http://c64goldenyears.com/sample/1982_w ... ight-click and save as</a>

which gets round the problem (will get Andrew to look into this)
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Post by Analog-X64 »

I just downloaded the PDF... on initial impression I thought, the text and background graphics would work more like a Magazine, but than thinking about it more... it wouldnt work as an magazine either. the opacity of the background images are too high and detract from reading. It is eye straining actually.

Why not have the text on White background with some sub picture here and there and than maybe every 5-10 pages have a Full Graphics Page...

Instead of having many pages with low opacity backgrounds I would rather have full color pages every 5-10 pages in between.

I hope its coming across the way I'm imagining it.
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Post by merman »

Analog, thanks for taking the time to give feedback.

--

Right, here's Andrew Rollings' detailed response to k_rosteon's comments:

K: First of all the pages needs more air. The line-height is too small and the text is too close to the pictures (and the pictures "subtext"). Add that to the very wide coloumns (if it was up to me I would have divided the coloumns into atleast two coloumns) and you get a very heavy read.

AR: It’s very similar to the Spectrum book layout, except that there is more text per page here. When the page is printed out as a colour accurate proof, it seems to me to be very easy to read, but I will take another look and see if there are some tweaks that I can do.


K: The medium dark background along with the dark text with drop shadow doesn't help reading experience (I am talking about page two here). Sometimes less is more and I would definitely remove the drop shadow. Personally I would lighten up the background a whole lot more (perhaps even more than what you've done on page 4), but I can respect that people have various opinions on that.

AR: The backgrounds appear darker on the PDF… As I’m sure you’re aware, colour management is one of the dark arts of printing… I’m working on it. The proofs I’ve printed so far have much lighter backgrounds than those in the PDF, but I will see if it could stand to be lighter.


K: Speaking of text I see appx. 5 fonts here. A "golden rule" says you should avoid more than 3 fonts on a page. The first thing I would do was to change the font on the image subtext. It does not fit in with the rest of the font selection.

AR: I disagree in principle with “Golden Rules” that are intended to be followed blindly. Every rule has exceptions. The main body of the text (title/author/text) uses three fonts. The rest is incidental page decoration – intended to be more graphical than textual. The image subtext is a separate element, and I feel that using a separate font for this delineates it from the rest of the page. I appreciate the honest feedback, but I’m respectfully disagreeing with this last point.

AF: I must admit, I tend to agree with the 3 fonts rule. I'll have a word with Andrew and see if we can't clear that point up a bit - one font for the headings, another for the main text and a third for the review quote/caption...
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Post by k_rostoen »

merman wrote:It’s very similar to the Spectrum book layout, except that there is more text per page here. When the page is printed out as a colour accurate proof, it seems to me to be very easy to read, but I will take another look and see if there are some tweaks that I can do.
I haven't seen that book, so I wouldn't know.
merman wrote:The backgrounds appear darker on the PDF… As I’m sure you’re aware, colour management is one of the dark arts of printing… I’m working on it. The proofs I’ve printed so far have much lighter backgrounds than those in the PDF, but I will see if it could stand to be lighter.
Colour management can be a bitch, I know. The screen version often differs from the printed version, so of course it could be fine with printed.
merman wrote:I disagree in principle with “Golden Rules” that are intended to be followed blindly. Every rule has exceptions.
I agree with you on this one, but as you said further down, the 3 fonts rule is usually a good one. Maybe "The Commodore 64 Book" should not be counted as a font, but I did as the pagenumbers uses the same font. However, that is not the font I would have removed as it kinda have to be there in a C-64 book. I would rather have done something about the other fonts, but that's just my rather subjective opinion.

As mentioned above, I haven't seen the Spectrum book, but if it has to use the same design, then I guess it's not much you can do about it.
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Post by Razmo »

oh dear!... I now I come passing by, telling you, that I found the layout to be very nice :roll: ... In fact I found such a colorful presentation much more inviting to read, than normal plain boring pale stuff...

Could it be that people again has different taste? ... it's art is it not? :)
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Post by merman »

razmo wrote:oh dear!... I now I come passing by, telling you, that I found the layout to be very nice :roll: ... In fact I found such a colorful presentation much more inviting to read, than normal plain boring pale stuff...

Could it be that people again has different taste? ... it's art is it not? :)
Thanks, razmo! Yes it is a matter of taste, but really it's planned as a "coffee table" book so there has to be a balance between "art" and "reading"
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Post by Razmo »

oh dear oh dear, and tripple oh dear! ... I don't drink coffee :?

:)
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