Paragraph and character styles, headers and footers.
Paragraph and character styles, as well as headers and footers take time, but will save time when changes need to be made globally. It is also helpful to copy and rename a previous book to modify the styles for the new book title. This is not a book on how to use InDesign, but rather on book design. If you need help with these steps, go to Help on the top menu in InDesign.
Open the Paragraph Styles tab, which is a default on the right side of the application window. Set the [Basic Paragraph] and body text typefaces, sizes, and leading (linespacing).
This is where you will add different sizes of headlines and paragraph styles like “photo title,” “photo credit,” “recipe,” or any style used throughout the document. Give your styles names that make sense to you, so you can quickly apply them.
Try not to over design by creating a new style if an existing style can be used. Creating a style for one-off use is unnecessary and clutters the design. Staying with a grid is practical for text heavy books, but it does not work well for a book like this, with many changes in text and styles.
A way to adjust text on a grid is to add additional styles with half and quarter size leading. This makes it easy to adjust leading to stay on a grid. For instance, if leading is 16-pt, add an 8-point style and a 4-point style.
Setting half & quarter size leading
The physical book version that is available on Amazon, has on 16-point leading or linespacing for the text:
- For example, add [Basic Paragraph] and Body text Paragraph Styles with 16-point leading.
Half of that is 8-point leading and a quarter is 4-point leading. Fewer changes in linespacing make a better visual impact when following a grid is not possible. Sometimes a little extra leading is needed, but not a full return. Then:
- Duplicate the style and change leading to 8. Name the Paragraph Style Body text 8-pt leading.
- Duplicate it again and change leading to 4. Name this new Paragraph Style Body text 4-pt leading.
Open the Character Styles tab, which is a default on the right side of the application window. What is nice about Character Styles is that you can create a style that only uses one attribute. That way, if you were to change a typeface throughout the entire book, only that attribute is changed.
Set bold, italic, and any other common styles
For example, set bold and italic as different Character Styles. However, try not to use bold and italic. When using bold, do not call out the size, leading, or any other style characteristics. Select only the font family and font style.
The font style is “Regular” in this book and the “Bold” font was not bold enough to show differentiation, so the actual font used was “Heavy.” By using a Character Style, you can easily change all bold type to another font.
Use groups to organize paragraph styles
Many types of books have a limited number of styles. The physical version of this book is more complicated, so it requires additional organization.
Create New Style Groups to better organize Paragraph Styles. Each group is essentially a folder. Even within a group, you can create other groups and sub-groups.
I often create groups for Front Matter, Body Matter, and if needed, Back Matter. If styles are distinctly different, you can create a new group for each style. But keep things simple.
You will almost always have the same body text, headlines, subheads, page numbers, and footer or header styles throughout the book.
Whatever you do in one section or chapter, you will want to have available in all documents in the book. The easiest way to accomplish this is to synchronize documents.
Headers and Footers
The more detailed the book, the more work it is to create running headers and footers. Start by looking through other books that are similar in size,content, and perhaps subject matter to the book you are designing. Decide what is functional for the reader. Determine what is necessary for the book’s design. The material in the book should dominate, not the headers or footers. They are only a functional or ornamental guide for the reader.
Running headers and footers are displayed at the top and bottom of pages. I have also seen them running vertically, Typically, the running head or is at the top of the page and the running footer is at the bottom. Use one or the other, but not both. They can contain the title of the book, a part or section of a book, a chapter, or any other reference point. They also contain the page number.
Headers or footers if used, are on most, but not all pages. If you previously created a master with a page number, this is where to add your header or footer. Refer to the feature image in another post for a sample page number and footer set-up.
Character Styles or Paragraph Styles should be created for headers or footers and page numbers. Since the book title is on the left page and chapter on the right page of a spread, you will need to save the first master as “A Master Ch 1.” Duplicate this master renaming it to “B Master Ch 2” and change the chapter name on the right-hand page. The A, B, C, etc. are automatically generated in InDesign. You need only add an identifying word to the name of the master.
There are pages where it is accepted practice not to place running headers and footers. The title page and copyright page for instance, need not have them at all. It looks cluttered. The first page of a chapter does not have a page number. Reference the front matter and back matter in this book, as correct use and placement is indicated in grey type at the bottom of each page.
Many book designers tend to over design. Take a fresh look at your design and remove what is not necessary. This applies to anything you create when designing a book, including the design of headers, footers, and also page numbers.
Functionality of headers and footers
Children’s picture books and board books need not have any headers and footers or even page numbers. The exception would be if the book has a large page count. Then, you just use a page number.
Novels and most other books, by default, have a stationery folio (page number) and header or footer consisting of the book title on the left-hand page. The right-hand page has the chapter title and, optionally, the chapter number or section within the chapter. It is a matter of how you wish to design the book.
Books with weighty subject matter should consider using the left-hand page footer or header for the chapter, and the right-hand page footer or header for each individual section.
Highly detailed manuals or reference books may opt to use the left-hand page for the sections, and the right-hand page for specific material on the page or pages.
In conclusion, paragraph and character styles as well as headers and footers are invaluable in the set-up of a professional book.