or ‘Letter from a book designer to a writer’ (particularly to those writing non-fiction that integrates text, tables, graphics, & other elements).
We believe that a book’s design should reflect the author’s voice as well as the concept that the author wants to transmit. Cover art & page layout are all parts of the message that the book is attempting to communicate. A book’s design presents the way through which the reader interacts with the text. Done wrong, a book’s design (or lack of design) can turn an engaging text into a boring and monotonous read. Of course, on the other extreme, poorly conceived page layout composition results in a book design that intrudes on the reader’s enjoyment.
As a boutique book design studio we craft each book carefully, dedicating the time that each book needs without rushing into random ideas.
We usually design the cover first since that’s the first contact the potential reader has with the book. Once we have designed the style for the cover, then we start on the interior page layout. In the page composition we purposefully incorporate some elements from the cover design so that the overall result is a book with cover and interior that presents a unified style, making the book a stronger and unique presentation.
When working on page layout, we seek to find a harmonious relationship between the fonts in the different parts of the text. Also, an integral part of book layout is balancing the text with the surrounding white space. We actually think of the white space as containing the text. Certainly, a simpler approach is just to dump the text into a template. But that method doesn’t work well for a non-fiction book that utilizes many elements, e.g., images, tables.
Most importantly we strive to work with the publisher (or author in case of self-publishers) to transmit the spirit of that particular book as a one & only piece that will provide an engaging experience for the reader.
This doesn’t mean that the process is long, sometimes is only a few weeks. We just think this is a good direction and it works for us and our clients.