Interior Book Design

Interior book design is an art that must meet the expectations of both author and publisher. The author requires his or her text to be presented in a way that draws the reader’s attention to the book’s content. The publisher requires the book to fit into a predetermined number of pages at a specified trim size.

Both of these expectations for interior book design are best met through the judicious selection of appropriate fonts. The primary font chosen for text display should reflect the book’s content: you wouldn’t use a playful font like Tekton to set a serious philosophical text about phenomenology, but you might consider it for a cookbook. Judicious font selection also allows you to meet other interior book design requirements: line length, number of columns, footnotes, headings, overall length, appropriate use of space, and so forth.

Of course, the whole point of making an interior book design is that it should be utterly transparent and reproducible over thousands of pages. It should focus the reader on the text without calling attention to itself, and it should allow the typographer to fulfill the designer’s overall expectations.

Not all interior book designs are equal. When you find books with an excessive number of blank pages at the end, excessive end-of-line hyphenation, facing pages of unequal length, numerous widowed lines or orphaned words, then the design clearly isn’t appropriate for the text. It just isn’t doing its job.

At UB Communications, we generally submit two to four interior book designs for each of our projects. By design, they meet the requirements of authors, publishers, and book typesetters. They attempt to account for every element of the project (from frontismatter and running heads to indices) so that the typesetter can practice his or her craft within an easily implemented framework.