In Book Design Made Simple, we suggest type sizes that should work in most situations for adult readers. But there are so many other situations! What about children’s books? What about large type books? Reference books? In this article we’ll suggest solutions for these kinds of books. And we’ll only discuss printed books; with ebooks, the reader can enlarge or reduce the type size to whatever works for them. [Read more…]
Book Page Design
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
Video tutorials about book page design
- InDesign basics: navigating, selecting, and using layers
- Using columns to change your layout
- Typesetting a poetry book
Blog posts about book page design
Below are all the blog posts in the Book Page Design category, starting with the most recent post.
Coffee table books. Are they a blast from the past? No, actually, folks are still publishing them, and you can, too. Do you have an idea for a coffee table book of poetry and photography? About a specific artist or a place you love? About your local history, or something completely different? With good planning and design, your book could become very successful. [Read more…]
Do you use a layout grid? A few months ago, I saw a survey on Twitter for designers. The one multiple choice question went something like this:
- I always use a layout grid.
- I sometimes use a layout grid.
- What’s a layout grid?
I had to laugh, but then I began thinking that some of our readers could benefit from learning about this topic. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]
Need to convert to CMYK in Photoshop? 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 am sharing 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 two colors to use for 2-color printing. 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…]