On Book Design

I began designing my first book. Interesting… and not as mundane as it might seem, initially. Seemed like a rather simple task — you learn the rules, and off you go. But as I’m becoming slowly acquainted with the essential material (currently reading Richard Hendel’s On Book Design, and Mitchell & Wightman’s Typographic Style Handbook, which is more of an instruction manual), I realise that it is not so simple. If I am to achieve typographic excellence someday, this project will involve a lot of critical thinking and brutal self-reflection, manifesting itself in my design work, which will probably be the easy bit.

I came to realise that I find it hard to organise my thoughts. They are spontaneous and fleeting. Trello may come in handy… that’s a thought! Maybe this blog will help me to set things straight. After all, I am its most loyal reader.

The typeface I used for my first book — Charles Dickens – A Literary Life — is Hoefler Text. It’s a nice font family. Really like the small-caps.


The book-designy process, for your review…



Probably one of the most annoying and time-consuming aspects of the book design process is the printing of the proof. Printing booklets is the worst! I spent a whole day getting acquainted with the department’s temperamental printers… and now, no project goes complete the first time round. Usually the third or fourth attempt does it… if I’m lucky 😆

$root - whoami
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