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…]
Book Page Design
Below you'll find links to all the information about book page design that’s available on the Book Design Made Simple website, book, videos, and blog.
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.
This page is a work in progress, so we appreciate your patience while we compile all the links for this category.
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
Video tutorials about book page design
- Links coming soon.
Blog posts about book page design
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…]
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…]
In Book Design Made Simple, we mention cookbooks a few times but never sit you down and explain in detail how to go about designing one. Once you’ve had some experience with designing and laying out other books, you’ll see at once that you’ll need to apply some extra effort to make a good-looking, readable cookbook. [Read more…]
How can you determine whether an image file is high enough resolution to use in your book? That’s a question I get asked all the time! Images should be at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at the size they’ll be printed at— and that’s where most people need help. How do you figure out the size of an image, and whether or not it’s suitable for printing? [Read more…]
Have you ever tried to add an image on your screen to your printed materials? And noticed that it looked terrible in print—all blurry and pixelated? We had the same problem! Our book has a lot of screen shots in it. We mean a LOT. We use them mostly to show you InDesign dialog boxes—each view of the screen saves many words. [Read more…]