Working in book design can mean several things. For some, it may be creating elaborate book covers and jacket designs from scratch. For others, it may mean hours of detailed-oriented layout work. Designing a book cover means first understanding the nature of the book, and then the audience, and in today’s market, creating something that sells. This work may be done as a freelancer or in-house for a book publisher.
Type of Work
When working in book design one can expect to:
- Design covers
- Design book jackets
- Work in page layout
- Learn the rules of typography
- Work with deadlines
Software Used in Book Design
Depending on the project, book design and layout can call for all types of graphic design software. Covers that incorporate photography will most likely be brought into Photoshop at some point. Others that need original artwork and clever typography will likely be done in a program like Illustrator. For layout of full books, InDesign and Quark are used throughout the industry.
Book designers must pay close attention to the legal issues to protect their work. A fair contract will enable the designer to make additional money for a second printing or paperback printing that goes beyond the original run of a book. This allows the designer to share in the success of the product and not give unlimited use of the design. Designers should also look to get their credit on books they design, which will help to promote their business.