As the term book design already suggests, book design is about the arrangement of a book. However, it is not quite that simple. The design of a book involves a wide variety of elements that are handled by different professionals. From shapes and colors, to the type of paper, typeface and typesetting, to the cover and the book jacket, a wide variety of aspects have to be taken into account when designing and laying out a book. Once the content of a book has been decided, the next step is to put it into shape. Objectives and functions of the books are specified in order to adapt the layout and design according to the genre.
The first impression matters - design is key
Purchase or no purchase is decided in an instant. The first deciding factor is the design of the cover or of the book jacket. The first impression determines whether an end consumer will be willing to pick up the book - or leave it on the shelf unnoticed.
Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten that a book is an everyday commodity and must therefore meet certain requirements. The designer must understand the purpose of the book. A coffee-table book in the form of a soft-cover or a novel in large format, for example, not only make little sense, but also do not meet the purpose of the genre and the expectations they are supposed to fulfill as an object of everyday use. Non-compliance with certain rules and standards can therefore lead to the book not being recognized for what it is: a novel, a poetry book, a dictionary, or a coffee-table book.
The components of a book:
- Book body with content and graphics
- Typography/ font
- Layout / page structure
- Defined number of pages / volume
- Book cover
- Spine of the book
Variety in genre and design - about ideas and implementation
As diverse as the types and genres of books, so are the design options. It is necessary to keep in mind who the reader of the book is and what the content wants to express in order to emphasize it visually. In addition to an appealing look, handling and functionality are at the top of the list of a book's most important features.
The legibility is an important element to engage and pick up the reader. This is where the font, page format, font size, placement of illustrations, and typesetting play an important role. All these elements can variate and thus offer a wide range of design possibilities. According to the book, the book size, page format and font are adjusted or the type setting is changed, the number of images is increased or decreased, and the design is adapted to the content, ensuring that each book is individual.
Content, Content, Content
However, not every typography suits every genre. A kids' book is different from a factual textbook even in the choice of typeface. The layout and typography, besides their visual impact and therefore the book design, influence the comprehension of the text. Subtitles, offsets, image setting, and text structure determine whether a book is pleasant to hold in one's hand and visually emphasize the content. Content should be shown to its advantage and can be accompanied by design elements such as photographs, illustrations or graphics. Creativity and the designer's imagination are particularly required here.
Therefore, it is important that the individual or people who are involved in the process of arranging the book and the book design understand the content of the book and know who it is aimed at. To look harmonic and aesthetic the overall concept should be accurate and coherent from the book cover to the last page.
The art of making books speak for themseves
If a company is involved in the production of a book, it is important to consider the corporate design. The art is to implement ideas in collaboration between the company and the designer to clearly communicate the content to the end user. The challenge is to design the book so that it is visually appealing, valuable in terms of content and at the same time representative of the company.
Love at first sight
Ideally, the right target group will immediately recognize the purpose of a book. For example, the book jacket and cover not only have the function of informing the potential buyer, but they also have a protective purpose. Paper, on the other hand, must be easy to turn pages, and nowadays, in particular, be environmentally friendly. Depending on the genre, experts can choose suitable paper and select an appropriate printing process. Wood-free paper, for example, is more durable and more expensive than paper containing wood. Coated, colored, a higher or lower opacity are factors that can be better judged by professionals and, in addition to the price, naturally influence the appearance of the book.
From cover to book jackets
Offset printing is more suitable for coffee-table books due to its high-quality color reproduction and is especially recommended for longer runs. Digital printing pays off for short or personalized orders, as it is less expensive and easier to customize. Depending on the volume, readership and price, the right process can be chosen. The cover, the endpaper (the connection between the book cover and the book body), the typography and the graphics are design elements and should be coherent to appeal to the reader and make reading pleasant. Together, they reflect the underlying idea of the work. An illustration or photograph can soften the book's composition or give it a certain line.
Creative minds and long-term experience
Structure and conceptual thinking are important qualities when designing a book. Design and layout determine the look, but nevertheless it is important to know the possibilities in terms of printing and processing. Therefore, teamwork between photographers or authors, graphic designers, typographers and printing professionals is required in order to ensure that the book design is consistent with the book's content. This requires experience and expertise as different skills are needed. Every book has its own language, which is conveyed to the reader through the communication design.
Under one roof
LONGO's Creative department has been working intensively on the layout and design of books and journals for decades, while the Print department scores with profound production experience. This makes LONGO a perfect partner for book design, as all the key areas are covered by specialists. Adapted individually to the content, we find the perfect answer to create a coherent complete work from the first to the last page. In addition, we can offer innovative technology, especially in production, and creative graphic design in layout.
What makes LONGO stand out:
- professional consultation on all aspects of books
- individual and creative design
- many years of experience in the field of print
- from book design to the finished product
We love challenges
We understand book design each time again as a beautiful challenge, which we enjoy taking on individually. The different divisions in our company, from creation to production, enable us to provide each customer with comprehensive and personal advice based on many years of experience. Books are our passion and supporting others in transforming an idea into a concrete product provides us with a lot of enthusiasm.