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Page Layout Design


Scroll through our page designs

The Typeface

It’s a subtle decision when choosing a typeface for a book, but every story, every teaching, every memoir… every manuscript… often suits being published in one particular typeface over another.

Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous Times Roman typeface, or font. It’s an excellent ground level font to construct an initial manuscript. However, within professional book publishing there are many more preferred typefaces which provide that extra elegance and balance to a page. They are also deemed to be particularly readable. Next to this text is a list of typefaces we typically use for the main body of text in our books. Note how a font’s point size, despite being the same, looks different for each one.

Swashes & Ligatures

Sometimes, the heart of something needs more expression. Swashes and Ligatures are beautiful extravagances of letters that invite a reader in.

Attention to detail brings delight to the eye and can even inspire the heart to read more. Whilst minimalism is often a preferred option for many books, there are those books that need that extra swish and playfulness to reflect its contents. Swashes, such as this “W”, are found on professional typefaces and bring personality to a book’s otherwise face of words. Ligatures are two letters bound by a typographical styling, that can aid reading and enhance aesthetic.

Text Structure

Zaccmedia helps authors get their text under control, laying it out in a clearly navigable and aesthetically pleasant form for the reader.

Teaching books in particular often have at least a minimum amount of text structure that necessitates the use of subheadings. For books that are dealing with multiple or complex issues, different levels of subheadings are used throughout.  Our editors are trained to not only adjust text, but to review the structure of the text, find rhythms in the communication, and apply a hierarchy of headings. These headings/subheadings are then interpreted visually through a consistent application of heading styles, as illustrated here with perhaps an over emphasised method of depicting subheading levels. Subheadings are designed to compliment the design approach of the book in general.

Tables

Tables are part of the narrative and like the rest of the text, they need carefully designing into the flow and feel of the book.

Tables can be similar to the structure of text and have their own levels of hierarchy when conveying information. Zaccmedia will eloquently make this seamlessly blend into the design of the book.

Chapter Heads

Most books are written in chapters and chapter heads are the designed section markers that tell the reader where each one starts.

As in all book design, the style of these chapter heads is purely dependant upon the type of book. Novels are often supremely simple, usually denoted with just a number. Memoirs and Teaching books often have a little more hierarchy, with a main chapter title, a smaller subtitle, and then perhaps a quoted saying or scripture. Those levels needs an appropriate design, and preferably one with some flair, either classically so, or with some extra design attributes, such as in the associated graphic here. Beyond chapters, books of further levels of structure may be split into Parts, which additionally require styling. All this is considered from editor through to typesetter with Zaccmedia.

Contents

The contents page is easily overlooked, but can be a welcoming entry point for browsing through a book. It should therefore be well presented, making a good first impression to the reader.

If your book is a novel, the need for chapter contents is questionable. However, if your book is a memoir or a teaching book, then it’s useful for a reader to have a point of page reference based on the name of the chapter describing that section of the book. Should there be multiple levels of hierarchy made up of chapters, parts, illustrations etc, then it’s important the contents page is laid out clearly and aesthetically – which is Zaccmedia’s approach.

Title Page

It’s the opening page of the book and hopefully evokes a sense of anticipation for the reader. Are we over emphasising its importance? Perhaps, but we like to add a good title page!

Most books open with what’s called a half title page, followed by a title page. The half title page is simply the book title in very small text on an otherwise blank opening page. Then follows the main title page. There are no formal protocols, but we like to, whenever it’s possible, to mirror the design of the front cover for placement on the title page. Some cover designs make this impractical, but a good typographical design on the title page helps make the book feel more appealing to engage with.

Index

Where books are reference works, having an index can either be useful or invaluable. Most usually, the books we publish don’t require an index, and to have one would most certainly be overkill.

Where an index is required, we can sort that out for you. In all cases, we rely upon the author to provide the index reference document which we design to the page. The author can only provide the index once typesetting is done, proofed and ready for print. The index is added at the very end of the process – if we didn’t, the text could easily shift page numbers following amendments, putting any premature index references out of sync.