Preface – You can learn graphic design specifically for books.
Preface – Learn graphic design to design books. This is the preface for “Book Design: Simple & Professional” by Nancy Starkman. It is modified from the book to meet SEO standards. Buy it on Amazon! Copyright 2021 by Nancy Starkman. All rights reserved.
Few schools teach book design
This book is about how to design a book. It is less about how to use Adobe ® InDesign ®. However, the chapters include step-by-step Adobe InDesign instructions for different book design set-ups. Illustrations give a clearer explanation when words are not enough.
While graphic artists may get a formal design education, few schools will teach book design specifically. More and more graphic artists are focused on web design web and not design for books printing on press. This book is how you can learn graphic design to design books.
A book designer most often learns their craft from personal experience and the act of designing a book. The opportunity for a graphic artist to design a book does not happen as often as working on other types of projects. Many do not get the full book design experience.
Self-publishers have different motives to learn graphic design, or rather the design of books. They may want to design their book to have full control over its design and layout, or just save money on design fees. Book Design: Simple & Professional fills the gap. There are many books and sources from which to learn Adobe InDesign. Learn graphic design here; that is to properly structure and design professional looking books.
When there is a section that requires an InDesign set-up, instructions are provided. I assume that the reader is somewhat proficient in InDesign. Visit Adobe InDesign Help if necessary. Go to the menu in InDesign and select Help > InDesign Help . . .
Keep book design simple
Those who have some experience may want to go directly to the book and cover design steps. They are in Chapter 5, Interior Text Design and Chapter 6, Cover Design & Binding. Both chapters have dark gray borders that provide a quick visual reference. French flaps are on the front and back book covers to save your place(s) in the book.
Light gray type is found on the bottom of some pages in front matter and back matter. It provides extra guidance for each of these pages. This is in addition to the chart that The Chicago Manual of Style was kind enough to give their permission to use. See Chapter 3, Book Structure.
If you are a novice, grounding yourself thoroughly in the basics is advisable to learn graphic design. An author asked the following question which ultimately lead to the design of this book:
Q: I am printing a series of coffee table books and need someone to guide me through the process of creating the book. I have much of the content already. Can we set up a time to speak?
A: We do not provide individual instruction; however, you may call during normal business hours, and we would be happy to have a brief discussion. First, collect images in some organized way. Creating an art folder or chapter folders. Write the manuscript and captions in Microsoft Word. Indicate where the images will go in the manuscript. The book should be set up using Adobe InDesign.
Sounds simple, but there is a lot more to book design. I am happy to have conversations about book design. Some self-publishers expect a short answer, condensing decades of knowledge and experience into brief answers about how to design their specific book. Time does not allow for
personal instruction. I love to help self-publishers and graphic artists. This simple and professional book offers guidance, expertise, and useful book design tips.
There are graphic artists who do an amazing job on their first book. We are wowed when see their design! However, many get lost in the weeds when book design is new to them. A self-publisher naturally thinks that graphic artists design books. Frequently, they have never designed a book, but may have a wonderful portfolio of other work. Some may have limited or no experience in book design. They may just be a desktop publisher . . . for now.
The desktop publisher is different, and maybe has more to learn
They have a computer and maybe InDesign. Perhaps they have some experience in graphic design. A novel can be designed in Microsoft ® Word ®. A coffee table book, children’s book, photography book, or cookbook is another story. InDesign is the standard. Vast numbers of books were written over the centuries about typography. Self-publishers who want to learn graphic design to create their book, may dive in without understanding the basic principles of typography, page layout, and color reproduction. They need to know about book printing on press, image resolution, and the variations of different types of book bindings. Since few schools teach book design, the focus of this book is to make the new book designer’s job easier and faster.
Book designers charge more because they know more
Desktop publishers charge less because they have less knowledge and may just want the prestige of a book project for which they are ill-prepared. It will show. Well-designed books command a higher retail price. Self-publishers often do not realize that better design brings more book sales. Learn graphic design for book design is the best way to design a beautiful or striking book. it is one of the most important factors in marketing. Authors cannot charge top dollar for books with poor design. They may have to charge less.
I founded Star Print Brokers Inc. in 1999 with my husband, Edward Starkman. We provide high-quality book printing at a reasonable unit cost. Print-on-demand is not a service we offer, nor is printing in China. The quality is not up to our standards.
Find extra options that are often not found anywhere else. I detail in this book, the options and services differences. Star Print Brokers is a high-quality alternative to other vendors. Time and money are a waste if a book design has unavailable options. It is up to the author to finalize book specifications by consulting with their vendor.
Book Design: Simple & Professional is a guide to learn more, streamline the design process, and create a better book design. Self-publishers can charge more for books with a professional looking design. Learn graphic design that is specific to books. When a graphic artist gains more knowledge about the design of books, they can charge more for their services.
Nancy Östling Starkman