Some InDesign functions have names that you would never be able to guess, and that makes them really tough to discover and learn. One of these is Optical Margin Alignment (I’m calling it OMA), which is InDesign’s formal name for hanging punctuation. I used to see this effect in other people’s work and then try to imitate it, but I couldn’t because I had no idea what it was called. So this article explains what it is and how to do it. [Read more…]
Get started with Part I of Book Design Made Simple, where you’ll learn how to lease and install Adobe InDesign, create a document, and import your manuscript from Word. Download Part I for free by subscribing to our blog—simply use the form below.
Excerpts from Book Design Made Simple
- Basic principles of good design: what are they?
- Front matter — what to include in the front of your book
- Back matter — what to include in the back of your book
- Running heads — what to include in your novel or nonfiction book
- Typeface vs font: what’s the difference?
- Book trim size: how to choose the right trim size
- Book binding: many options beyond softcover and hardcover
Below are all the blog posts in the Book Design category, starting with the most recent post.
Wondering how many Word pages equal a book page? You can easily calculate book page count using the word count from your Word document. We’ll explain two easy methods to calculate book page count: 1) use one of our simple formulas as a book page count calculator, or 2) use our InDesign template to experiment with book trim size and type size to accurately determine a page count for books. Use whichever method is easiest for you. [Read more…]
Ask any book designer about their collection of reference books and you’ll get a long list of the usual suspects: books about design, typography, layout, and grids; dictionaries and style guides; software manuals; and lots of books and magazines kept for inspiration. But which books are indispensable to a book designer?
Let’s say you’re designing and typesetting a book with lots of images. You’ve finished laying out all the pages, and your last task is to prepare the images for print. All of your images have either been scanned or photographed, and therefore they are all RGB color (not CMYK color, as required by most offset printers). And most images are JPGs, although you might have a few PNGs too.
It’s a monumental task to convert each image to CMYK individually. Suppose you have 50+ images, or even 1,500+ images! I found myself in this situation recently, and want to share with you a quick and easy way to convert all of your images to CMYK at once by batch processing actions in Photoshop. (It sounds complicated, but isn’t.) [Read more…]
In my previous blog post, I mentioned mixing inks in a 2-color book. So now I’m back to explain how to do that in InDesign, plus how to make a 2-color photo (duotone) in Photoshop. And I’ll let you in on the simple way to make a fake duotone right in InDesign, too.
So let’s start with what we can do in InDesign. [Read more…]
Do you have a favorite color?
If you’re a designer, I hope your answer is no. Every color can look good or bad, and be valuable or useless, depending on where and how it is used.
In this blog post we’ll help you find colors for your next book project. [Read more…]
Are you designing a book cover that’ll become part of a series or boxed set? If so, you’ll need to think ahead! There are a few design considerations to take into account when you plan your book cover design. Not only should your cover design be successful using different title lengths and images, but more importantly, it must create a look or brand that’ll easily identify all future books as being part of the same series. Sound challenging? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! [Read more…]
Does the prospect of designing a book cover make you feel anxious? Jittery? Terrified? Do you start to contemplate cleaning out your basement instead? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. [Read more…]
For some reason I never fully noticed this before. But when I helped out at two book sale events this past fall, it became all too clear: People love dogs more than anything else. Dogs are cute. Dogs attract. Dogs are cuddly and lovable. Dogs rule. [Read more…]
In Book Design Made Simple, we have given you samples and instructions that serve as foundations for your own book designs. And if you follow them, you can be certain that you have produced something very good. But are you confident about your work? Do you think it looks good? Do you wonder if anyone else will think it’s good? Do you worry that if you come up with ideas of your own they might be “bad”? [Read more…]