Joel makes some excellent points in his post about a book designer needing to be detail-oriented. We pay attention to the things you may miss or may think aren't important. What I think needs to be added to that post is something about the designer beautifying the book beyond the typography (which is the number one consideration). If your designer doesn't know typography, your book won't look (or read) like it should. But, that's another post. For now, let's talk consistency and artistic elements that will make your book stand out from the crowd.
When I'm formatting a book, elements and typefaces from the cover can be found within the pages. Sometimes, I'll set the books text in one of the fonts used for the cover, but this is rare (display or title faces do not good reading make). Rather than use a font that doesn't flow well, I tend to use the display or title fonts for the details. Running headers (or footers) can be set in any typeface you'd like because they aren't put there to help you read. Page numbers can be adorned in many ways because they serve only to mark a place or add a bit of glamor to a page.
My favorite place to use the cover fonts is in the chapter titles and numbers. And, man, are there a ton of ways you can format that first page! It's the page where the text generally begins about halfway down and you have all that white space to play with. You can add flourishes, decorative type, images, logos, anything! Drop caps are fun, too! But any good designer is going to take the time to make sure it's consistent.
You don't want a flourish on chapter one and then not again until chapter thirty. You don't want story breaks to have boring white space between them. Above all else, you don't want someone to open the book and be shocked by how different the inside is from the outside. They should be wowed.
If I've read the book, my imagination goes a little wild when I'm adding those little details that make a book sing off the page. I sometimes use elements from the cover or story throughout the design.
Here are a few of my interior designs (I'm including the covers so you can see how they match):
(There's a chance to win a printed copy of that last book shown, Borrowed Things, running right here on this blog! Check it out!)
Those are the types of things I love to do when formatting books. That logo on Borrowed Things is repeated for every story break (smaller in size, of course).
A couple of books I was wowed by when I opened them:
Splintered by A. G. Howard
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Fearless by Cornelia Funke
These are the book designs that stay with me. Sure, I remember stories from many books, but it's when I'm wowed by a design that I remember the story with vivid detail. Each of those links provides a look inside option. Go look inside! See what these people are doing. Love it. Learn from it. Your only restraints are your imagination!
I hope you all got a new perspective on book beautification and consistency in design today. I also hope you checked out Joel's blog and took his advice to heart. Remember, don't sacrifice readability for lower printing costs! Margins matter!
If you're interested in having a book formatted for print, contact me using this form.
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!