Designing a GelaSkin to Suit Your Inner Kindle
One of the biggest feathers in Amazon’s cap is that their Kindle has succeeded at becoming as much a piece of fashion as a helpful eBook-reading gadget. The Kindle’s svelte exterior has a similar effect to an Apple product, making a very strong statement about one’s literacy and commitment to the written word. While most people would be satisfied with just that, there does exist another outlet for creative expression as it concerns one’s Kindle and the message it sends out to the world, and that outlet is GelaSkins.
You may have already seen their products for any number of other gadgets like iPods and laptops, but the basic premise is that they’re thin vinyl skins that you can place on a device to keep it safe from surface scratches, while at the same time transforming it into a mobile piece of art.
What’s best of all is that you’re not confined to a narrow selection of predetermined prints. You can log on to their website, select the Kindle from their list of devices (Hint: it’s listed under “Other”), upload your own images into their system, and lay them out how you’d like them to appear.
This actually turned out to be a bigger task then I thought, so I decided to come up with some criteria for determining what I needed on a Kindle so that it would represent me. It needs to:
- Make some sort of reference, however vague, to one of my favorite works of fiction.
- Convey its message with simple, uncluttered graphics, especially in the limited space on the front.
- Avoid any pop culture icons from the last decade. (Sorry, Twilight fans!)
- Be awesome.
If you have access to photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop, I recommend trying to put together your look in there instead of their layout tool. Be mindful of the placement of the layout of the front of the Kindle — you can only really add extra elements in the margins surrounding the screen and keyboard, which limits you somewhat.
After running through my creative process and pouring over several mock drafts, I finally came up with the sterling creative genius you see before you. It of course makes reference to the great Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. The Kindle, with its ability to act as a veritable handheld library, always reminded me in many ways of Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide, which is said to have sported the words “Don’t Panic” in bold, friendly letters. And now my Kindle does as well!
Of course, if you don’t feel up to the task of designing your own GelaSkin, they offer a whole range of professionally designed skins from aspiring artists that look absolutely stunning in person. They have something to suit every kind of Kindle reader out there, with designs that range from a simple textured leaf to full-fledged works of art.
At $19.99, a GelaSkin represents a good lower price point if you’re shopping for a Kindle owner for the holidays. They don’t quite offer the same protective benefits of a full-fledged cover, but it’s definitely an opportunity to show a loved one how much you “get” them with a hand-picked artistic design. They’re not just one-shot use either; the adhesive allows you remove and reapply them to a certain point. I was skeptical at first, but having had a week to show off my now-even-nerdier-looking Kindle 2 around work, I can give them an unabashed thumbs up.