- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (November 10, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300075707
- ISBN-13: 978-0300075700
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 11.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On Book Design First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
On Book Design is divided into three sections. In "Looking Like Books" Hendel discusses what makes a book, a book. More than just the author's words, a book is defined by its typography, the size of the fonts, the width of the margins, where the subheads fall on a page. While this may seem obvious, what is harder to determine is the right combination of all these subjective elements. If a reader is paying more attention to the arrangement of the words rather than to the content itself, the design may be overdone.
The book's second section, "The Design Begins Here" describes exactly what it is that designers do-from the big picture stuff (e.g., matching the author's content and tone) to the smallest details (e.g., determining whether to choose old-style or line numbers).
Scattered throughout the book are samples of projects designed by Hendel and others. This is extremely helpful and often fascinating, though on occasion the level of detail Hendel provides borders on the tedious.
In the third section, "How Designers Work," Hendel hands the page over to several respected designers. Some work entirely on the computer; others, like Hendel, use pencil and paper to create their first design drafts. As Hendel notes, "What is important is not the mechanics of making the layouts but finding exactly the right design and typeface for the author's words."
Involved in the craft some fifteen years myself, I found Mr. Hendel's presentation, and the angles of his eight, interesting, informative, and helpful.
There are times when, as a designer, I'm stuck for some push in a direction so as to get started. And as a page comp and layout artist on others' book designs, I'm sometimes left questioning how and why someone else's book design was conceived the way it was. On Book Design goes a long way toward providing some possible paths to answering those questions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book offers essays by designers who have years of experience. Also features designs by modern designers. It is wonderful to access their very practical knowledge. Read morePublished on August 6, 2013 by Neera Jain
This book is an elegant one and a though provoking one, but it is NOT for beginners. It is NOT a text book, but rather a guide to expanding book designers' thinking about what... Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by J. Tessmer
I found this book to be one of the best on this topic. The text written by others is also helpful as well but not as much as the author's book. Lots of good advice. Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by Muhammad I. Hozien
This is the best book I have read on the subject. The interviews
with a variety of designers show there is no one way to approach a book
design but the goal is always the... Read more