I’ve been studying great book design, following great designers (Stephen Tiano being top of my list), and more recently, studying the book-making process as described in the Chicago Manual of Style.
My tool is InDesign. This tool, like other software tools in the Adobe design universe, is not for the faint of heart or to be taken lightly for a spin. Complexity and numerous tools are there to be used with a background knowledge in the principles of design. One can make a very amateur, text-crowded, clunky-looking book with InDesign, or a beautiful and easy-on-the-eyes reading experience.
So far, the principles I’ve learned include the use of professional fonts as well as customizing the font to the style, content, and size of the book in question. Spacing seems to be the primary philosophical point in book design. Balance between text and white space determines ease of reading. Want to get really “sucked in” to a book? Part of that experience will be dictated by the spacing used in the book’s design.
The last bit that can take quite a bit of the designer’s time and talent is the placement of illustrations (called “art” in the trade). This art can include text-based tables and figures as well as full-color photographs or other visual art. I’ve definitely noticed when art has been well placed or not well placed based on how the subjects in the text flow around it.
See my portfolio for samples from my design projects.
I charge $6.00 to $10.00 per page for this service. Price will depend largely on the number and type of illustrations, tables, or figures involved.
Book covers are extra. I can incorporate art that you bring to the project and come up with a style for the title and text on the back, etc., but I am not an illustrator. My work on a cover averages $450.
If you’d like a quote for your particular project, contact me.