February 10, 2004

Art elements in book publishing

The "art" of modern publishing:

  • Cover illustration inspired by book, but also a marketing tool
  • Page layout, as in placement of pictures, charts, breaks
  • Typography and readabilty
  • White space

    The beauty of the elements:
    The weight of the paper and its texture make a big difference in the quality and feel of a book. Certain types of paper are archival quality and more permanent than others, and therefore determines what types of books get more permanent paper. Example: Bound encyclopedias can last forever, even though they'll quickly be out of date. A genre paperback, like those of John Grisham, are printed on lower quality paper and will yellow and crack with age.

    Types of books:

  • Hardcover - more durable, library copies
  • Trade paperback - sometimes just a hardcover that's been cut down to size. More attractive and literary-looking than a pocket-sized book, and also more expensive for the same words.
  • Paperback - sometimes called Pocketbooks. Cheap pulpy paper, sometimes there are layout/typography issues. But, it's very portable!

    The industry and consumer demand determines the aesthetics of book culture. When you buy a book, you want to it feel nice and look attractive. Sometimes you do judge a book by its cover.

    Posted by Julie Young at February 10, 2004 08:41 PM
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