Design 4

Anatomy of a book

When developing the editorial design of a publication, it is important to consider the internal and external structure of the publication and adjust the design to the specific requirements for each publication.

Components of a Book

As an example consider the components of a book. The various parts of a book have specific technical names that are used throughout publishing. The basic components of the book may be broken down into three groups: the book block, the page and the grid.

  1. Spine section of book cover that covers the bound edge
  2. Head band narrow band of thread tied to the sections that is often coloured to complement the cover binding.
  3. Hinge fold in endpaper between pastedown and fly leaf
  4. Head square small protective flange at the top of the book created by the cover and back boards being larger than the book leaves
  5. Front pastedown endpaper pasted down to the inside of the front board
  6. Cover thick paper or board that attaches to and protects the book block. This may made of different materials-generally, paper, cardboard or leather.
    The design of a cover should match the subject matter of the book. The front cover generally comprises the title of the work, the name of the author, the publisher logo and collection, as well as photographs and illustrations. The Dust cover is an additional cover. It is a thin cover which wraps the covers and is used to decorate and protect the publication. This may share the design of the cover or have a different one.
    For some examples visit www.bookcoverarchive.com
  7. Foredge square small protective flange at the foredge of the book created by the cover and back
  8. Front board cover board at the front of the book
  9. Tall square small protective flange at the bottom of the book created by the cover and back boards being larger than the book leaves
  10. Endpaper leaves of thick paper used to cover the inside of the cover board and support hinge. The outer lead is the pastedown or board paper; the turning page is the fly leaf
  11. Head top of book
  12. Leaves individual bound paper or vellum sheets of two sides or pages recto and verso
  13. Back pastedown endpaper pasted down to the inside of the back board
  14. Back cover cove board at the back of the book block
  15. Foredge front edge of the book
  16. Turn-in paper or cloth edge that is folded from the outside to the insider of the covers
  17. Tall bottom of the book
  18. Fly leaf turning page of endpaper
  19. Foot bottom of the page

The Page

  1. Portrait orientation format in which the height of the page is greater than the width
  2. Landscape orientation format in which the height of the page is less than the width
  3. Page height and width size of the page
  4. Verso left-hand page of a book usually identified with even folio numbers
  5. Single page single leaf bound on the left
  6. Double-page spread two facing pages in which the material continues across the gutter, designed as if they were a single page
  7. Head top of the book
  8. Recto right-hand page of a book usually identified with odd folio numbers
  9. Foredge front edge of the book
  10. Foot bottom of the book
  11. Gutter binding margin of the book

The Grid

  1. Folio stand line that defines the position of the folio number
  2. Title stand line that defines the grid position of the title
  3. Head margin is the margin at the top of the page
  4. Internal column gutter vertical space that divides columns from one another
  5. Gutter margin / column gutter inner margin of the page closest to the bind
  6. Running head stand line that defines the grid position of the running head
  7. Picture unit modernist division of a grid column divisible by the baseline and separated by a dead or unused line
  8. Dead line is the line space between picture units
  9. Column width/measure is the width of the column determining the length of individual lines
  10. Baseline is the line on which the type sits. The base of the x rests upon it; descenders hang from it.
  11. Column rectangular space on a grid used to arrange type.

Examples of page and grid components

Recto vs. Verso – Right vs. Left

Manuscript Grid

Modular Grid

Excerpt from Book Design by Andrew Haslam

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Welcome to the Design 4 Blog

This blog is for inspiration and education related to the Parsons Design 4 Information Design and Visualization course taught by Andrew Robinson. The objectives of this class are to help students in the Strategic Design Studies program to learn how to create effective information design as a tool for communication. Beauty in form and function, which communicates ideas effectively, is our goal.
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