At PrintingCenterUSA, we take it upon ourselves to make the entire process of designing, ordering, and printing your projects as simple as possible. This includes providing templates and content that help you create a print-ready PDF file. If you take advantage of our multitude of design resources, then we will be able to take your cook book, children’s book, memory book, photo book, business book, etc and deliver a stunning, professional product right to your door.
Creating the layout for your book can be a daunting task, however. You have already done the extensive legwork of creating the content for your magazine, catalog, or program and now it’s time to piece it together into a user-friendly visual package. We have laid out some easy steps and tips for you to follow to finish your project. Pair these tips with our downloadable templates and online design tool, and you will be 100% ready to self-publish your book.
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MAP IT OUT
Each book is unique and deserves its own special treatment. Map out your project outline, set up some ground rules, then plug and go! Consistency in book layout treatment is key to instilling authority, legibility, and nuance. The solution needs to be so natural and well-executed that the reader doesn’t even think about the layout. The point is to showcase your content to the reader/viewer as clearly as possible—nothing should take away from your work.
First, you need to understand what type of project you’re working with. What are the dimensions for your layout? PrintingCenterUSA offers custom layout sizes, but that can make the cost go up. You may want to consider some of our standard sizes: 8.5x11, 6x9, 4.25x11, 6x6 and 8x8, although custom sizes are available. As an added bonus, when it comes time to upload your files, you can upload your individual pages into your book designer tool to help you visualize the entire project.
Another important consideration for your book is what type of durable soft-cover binding you will be utilizing. PrintingCenterUSA offers saddle stitch, perfect bound, spiral, and wire-o binding. Selecting the binding that is right for the feel of your project is crucial! And it’s good to keep this in mind throughout the entire book layout process. To learn more about our binding options, click here.
|Saddle Stitch||Perfect Bound||Spiral||Wire-O|
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I’m sure your project already has some sort of structure. Now take that structure and thumbnail out your project! This will help you gain perspective on the entire layout. You may see things that you didn’t notice when you were in the weeds of preparing the content of your book. Think of it as a puzzle and outline the home of any written content, images, captions, table of contents, footnotes, page numbers, blank pages, etc. If you’re outlining a picture book, for example, you may want to select the format you are going to present your images in. Are they full page bleeds, tiled out, single images in the middle of the page?
4. MARGINS & BLEEDS
Now that you understand the dimensions of your book and where your images, spreads, and bleeding images are, you can prepare your document template.
Another way to make designing your book extremely easy is to select your fonts and the font size hierarchy at the beginning.
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6. BODY COPY
This blog is not about giving you writing tips. But, hey, body copy deserves to be pretty, too!
When designing for print, it is absolutely crucial to have images and graphics of high quality.
Make sure your project is navigable. Tips 1-6 will absolutely help this, but here are a few more to make sure your reader isn’t getting lost.
8. OVERALL COMPOSITION
Composition is extremely tricky. Consistency built by using all tips up to this point will help solve the problem for you, but some creative solutions will still be necessary. One thing I do to help my composition seem fully cohesive is abide by the 12 inch 12 foot rule. What I mean by this is when you’ve been staring at and obsessing at one page of your layout for a long time, you must remember to take a step back, zoom out, to see the entire layout, and evaluate how that page fits within the whole. Doing this regularly will keep you from merely designing individual pages and help lead to a cohesive book with an excellent user experience. If you zoom out and see that everything is kind of blending together, here are some extra tips to spice up your overall composition.
BOOK DESIGN RESOURCES
Free Online Book Designer
With our online design tool, it is easier than ever to design your saddle stitch, perfect bound, spiral, or wire-o book.
Predesigned Book Template Downloads
If you have the Adobe design software (Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator) then you can choose between one of our many free book template grid downloads to help jump start your design!