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Re-Design Textbook

Biology 2e (Chapter 18)



This project is an editorial and informational redesign textbook chapter from an online source, Openstax - Biology 2e. In an attempt to create an illustrative and authentic textbook that is easier to understand, engaging and interesting. Redesign Textbooks are formed with two components: research and design. The research includes creating research questions, collecting data in surveys and writing a final research report. The design components are supported by in-depth research on the topics, layout and illustrations.

Editorial Design
Information Design
Communication Design
Re-design Textbook


My research is set to answer the research question: how graphic design can help create an effective learning style for post-secondary students in biology textbooks?


My research is to investigate the relationship between learning styles and graphic design in textbooks. Additionally, to prove if graphic design and visuals actually benefit students in learning with textbooks. The research plans explore the advancement of visual learning students with innovation support from visual elements. Such as demonstration of organisms, cells, species and anatomy using a combination of layout, infographic, and biological illustrations and possibly decreasing the amount of text and replaced by visual representations. 


The hypothesis of this research study is that a new approach of design in biology textbooks will benefit students in multiple ways such as learning speed, engagement, learning experiences and understanding of the information. And students will prefer the redesign textbook in comparison to the traditional textbook. Due to more visual representation in the redesign textbook.


Set of Textbooks

16.7% prefer traditional textbook, 83.3% prefer visual design textbook.


When asked why they prefer one over the other, participants who prefer visual design textbooks are described as: more interesting, less intimidating, more focused, providing necessary information while giving the reader a strong and detailed component, easy to understand, well designed. On the other hand, the traditional textbook is described as: boring, less enjoyable, hard to concentrated, overwhelming. But for the most part, a balance between both versions has the most comments. Between fun and learning, to keep considering all types of learning style, layout, typesetting, 


When asked to compare both sets of textbooks, the traditional textbook is proven to help understand the information better than the visual design textbook. But in contrast, the visual design textbook is better in learning outcome, engagement, learning experience, interest and learning speed.


This research proves that a new approach to design in biology textbooks will create more interesting outcomes that benefit students with learning speed, engagement and learning experiences. But not necessarily to support the understanding of the information. A plainly visual redesign textbook will not be sufficient to create an effective textbook. A balance between visual and text will support students in understanding the information and increase learning interest, and overall create a better learning outcome.

The Project

After conducting the research, I have decided to redesign a textbook from an online source by Openstax - Biology 2e. Because this textbook is similar to my sample textbook set A that I have used for conducting the research. Also, this textbook allows me to be more creative because it has a limited amount of images which lets me have broader design choices by reading the text and using the images in the textbook as a reference and guide to begin the project.

The video below shows a run-through of the redesigned textbook. An ebook version is also available in the button below created using issuu.

Mockup with plant


When working on this project, I faced some challenges such as what kind of information and illustrations should be included on each page. Because there is a lot of text in this textbook, it isn't easy to decide where I should place the text without feeling too overwhelmed by the layout. When creating the illustrations for this project, it is important to ensure that the visuals are correct, so I have to look at multiple references to create a certain image. I have also drawn the same illustrations multiple times to make sure that I have kept the illustration style consistent. Unexpectedly, the illustrations and decision on layout took longer than I anticipated. But, I am really happy with the final product.


Final Product

Re-design Textbook
Re-design Textbook
Re-design Textbook
Re-design Textbook


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