Monthly Archives: March 2016

Session 18 – Designing interior layouts (part 2) – 17.03.16

Today, we continued on from last week’s session about interior design by taking a piece of text provided on Blackboard and eliminate the errors that had been introduced. This was harder than I first thought since, unlike copy-editing, you are looking for more than just grammatical and publisher-specific setting errors but, more specifically, making the necessary changes such as hyphen, en and em-dash misuses. These inconsistencies can be found by a programme integrated within InDesign by pressing Command F; you can look for all the hyphens that should be en-dashes, for example. However, this only finds the punctuation marks that you have been searching for, it will not distinguish what is correct and what is wrong. You have to go through all the flagged hyphens to see if that hyphen has been accurately used; if it has, move on; if it hasn’t, make the change. Although not being the most exciting part of production, this process is pivotal for a books consistency. As David Moratto explains, A professional interior book design sells your book while/and most importantly delivers what your content is all about. Whether your book is a novel or technical your interior pages have to navigate the reader effortlessly (properly), through your book pages. Without interior design, the reader will notice the quality. Quality is not just in the content but in how it is produced so it is important to meet these basic requirements. I feel like I have made decent progress doing this and feel ready to tackle the typesetting assignment at the end of the module.


Moratto,.David. [date accessed: 22 March 2016].

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Session 17: Designing interior layouts (Part 1) – 10.03.16

For the first part of this session, Becky Chilcott primarily discussed the cover designs we did last week, giving us constructive criticism which will be very useful and insightful for future practice. This was the first real cover I had created and I did struggle somewhat to get the effects I wanted to work straight away, but the little mistakes I made will be rectified now that Becky has guided and instructed me on how to improve the design. For example, the main mistake I made was setting it to Portrait instead of Landscape without realising. Incidentally, the cover looked odd; more like a map layout than a fiction book. I learnt that sticking to the brief is very important; little mistakes won’t be made that way and will make the design accurate. For future reference too, I will now make sure that I am not too close to the bleed like this is below. Little things are forgotten sometimes, particularly when it’s something new, so now I can look forward with an aim to make better spreads. However, despite the errors in my first attempt at a cover, there are positives to be taken, such as my effective use of photoshop, typography and general basic InDesign layout skills which are proven here. This gives me confidence and reassurance.

Cover Task.jpg

For the second part of the lesson, Becky introduced us to typesetting. This involves how the text is laid out and eliminating inconsistencies and punctuation errors whilst also giving the text an identity. For example, a little illustration that matches the front cover could appear on each chapter title, such as the stars in the later editions of Harry Potter.

  (Google Images, 2015)

It was definitely worthwhile looking at how to typeset. Not only is the knowledge in this area critical for my typesetting assignment, but also in the publishing world, whereby even if I do not become a typesetter, knowledge of its process will be advantageous in the workplace.


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Session 16 – Font exercise (03.03.16)

In this session, the class were encouraged to practice and develop their eye for detail and appropriateness when applying suitable fonts to front covers. This was great use of time as part of my preparation for ‘Just So Stories’. By searching for fonts using websites such as and, I realised just how important it is to apply the right font to a front cover. Per cover, there is a limited selection of fonts that complements the cover design. That is the main lesson I learnt from doing this exercise; through theory alone, you cannot truly comprehend the necessity of using an appropriate font.

Above, are the front covers we were asked to consider fonts for. We were given the title and left to browse, which took longer than expected. Below are pictures showing the fonts I chose, whereby for each I gave a brief explanation for my decisions.


I definitely feel like it was worthwhile associating myself with typography and cover design. I have learnt to appreciate the time that is taken in the publishing industry to find the font. It has a huge influence in how well the book stands out on a bookshelf. The wrong font could be enough to jeopardise the sales of that book due to its lack of appeal. If the text is not clear enough from a distance, or when the image is a thumbnail online, then a great sounding title will be lost on a potential customer. If the font is sloppy, unappealing, illegible, or just unprofessional (such as the overly-used, and some would say abused, Comic Sans or Papyrus fonts), it will immediately turn off the reader (Linsdell).

For next week, I aim to take one of these covers and create a near-finished cover design, including front and back covers, spine, and flaps, as Becky has asked us to do.

Linsdell, Jo.(2014) Why Book Covers are So Important, Writers and Authors. [accessed 8 March 2016].

1001freefonts. [accessed 8 March 2016].

Dafont. [accessed: 8 March 2016].


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Session 15: Guest Speaker (25.02.16)

Today, Ness Wood came in to talk to us about her experiences in book design and impart knowledge to us about production. What I found particularly interesting is how paperback and hardbacks often have contrasting front covers – usually minimal changes, but changes all the same. She gave the example of supermarkets wanting book cover designs being presented in a certain way in order for them to add their price tags and other promotional stickers without obscuring the text. The example she used was ‘Jampires’ by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell. (see below for image). The positioning of the ‘jampires’ were changed for supermarkets. Customising designs to suit different providers definitely aroused my interest since I did not think this would be something a publishing company would be willing to do. Is this a direction in publishing that will become more affluent in the future? Various booksellers wanting different designs to suit their own purpose?

__ went on to discuss illustrators who are prolific in the publishing industry’s eye. Sarah McIntyre, Sue Heap, Mini Grey, and Shirley Hughes. It was beneficial to know who are the biggest figures within the picture book scene. Below are various examples of illustrations of those mentioned above.



After Wood’s talk, we were given the task of designing a new cover for the picture book ‘Lionheart’. This gave me the opportunity to practice cover design for my production assignment. I found this enjoyable and even though I have not finished I feel more comfortable using Photoshop to structure the front cover the way I want it. However, I will aim to do more in order to feel more than just ‘comfortable’, and more confident. In all, it was a very engaging lesson!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at