The multiplicity of the digital textbook as design object | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1601-829X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0586



Building on a preliminary case study of the Danish educational publisher Systime A/S and its flagship product, the web-based ‘iBog’/‘iBook’, this article explores how digital textbooks can be understood as design. The shaping of digital books is seen as being intertwined in a wider circuit of design culture, constituted by changes in designer roles, consumption and mediation practices and restructuring of book production. Following this perspective entails an investigation not only into the shaping of the book as an isolated artefact or product but also into how business models, internal reorganization of the publishing company, web-based user interfaces, and ultimately the branding, which market these new digital objects, are building powerful discourses around the product. Thus it is suggested that the design process of the iBog case can be understood in a model of database-based publishing with multiple levels. In the final analysis, the iBog is much more than a product and a technology. It is a brand that goes beyond what can be studied by looking at the digital textbook as a singular artefact.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): branding; design culture; digital; educational publishing; production; textbook
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