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Book and Magazine Design Tips for Peecho Publishers

Designing books and magazines is an art in itself, one which is often
hard to master when you’re taking your publication from pixels to print.
Luckily, if you’re using Peecho
you don’t have to worry too much about standardization and print-ready
components, but there are still a number of things to consider if you
want to get the most out of your print product. In this post, we’ll be
talking to graphic designer Marije van der Hoest who has some
handy design tips to share with Peecho publishers.

Marije, what are some general things to consider when designing a PDF
for a book or a magazine?

The first thing you have to think about is the software you want to use.
I recommend Adobe’s suite of products and InDesign, in particular,
because it has all the necessary tools and features you could hope for
as a book or magazine designer.

Aside from that, here are some general pointers:

  • If you will offer your publication in print and you don’t want any
    empty pages at the end, design it with an even number of pages.
  • Define the size and orientation of the publication before you get into
    the nitty gritty details of the interior.
  • Set the parameters of your layout and try to keep this consistent
    throughout the book, are you using columns or will the text be
    centered in a single block? What kind of alignment fits your design
    better? Tip: justifying your text will help you avoid awkward spacing
    issues.
  • Consider dividing your publication in chapters and preparing a table
    of contents.
  • Choose a set of complementary fonts and heading styles and don’t use
    more than 2 or 3 fonts in one page.
  • Avoid using bold type, it’s ok for heads and subheads but won’t look
    as good in your main text. It’s best to emphasize things by using
    italics.

And speaking of fonts, what types do you prefer to use?

It depends on the subject of the publication. I generally advise people
to stick to ‘neutral,’ readable fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and
Helvetica. Fonts that are too stylistic (with swirls and other details)
make your book look busy and are often difficult to read. If you’re
designing a magazine, use a single font for the main text to keep things
consistent, then you can get playful with headings or subheadings.

In addition, remember to vectorize your fonts to avoid any changes or
stretching when your publication is printed.

Can you share some tips for spacing and margin considerations?

Sure, let’s start by looking at margins and bleeds. Peecho mirrors any
elements that are close to the page’s end so you can get away with
images and text that are extending too close to the edge. However, I
like to keep at least 1 cm of white space along the edge of the page –
this helps you avoid misprints and lets your overall design ‘breathe.’
Another thing to consider is that you’ll need to leave a bit more space
for the inner margin or gutter when you’re submitting a publication for
print. Otherwise that inner margin will appear smaller than the rest.

As for spacing, don’t put more than 13 words in one line, mind the gaps
between paragraphs and avoid hyphenation at the end of a line as much as
possible. As a rule, do not double space your paragraphs. Your line
spacing should not be larger than 1.5 times the size of your chosen
typeface.

Indent your paragraphs in a way that is relative to the size of the type
and avoid the tab key. Finally, watch for too much white space between
words.

What about image resolution?

Images need to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi to get the best
results in print.

What about the book or magazine cover?

Covers are always fun to design. Above all, you have to think about what
your overall story tells and make sure to convey that in the cover.
People always make a link between the cover and the quality and nature
of your publication’s content. Make it catchy but not too busy.

And finally what color scale do you recommend, particularly for designs
that will be printed?

RGB is the most widely recommended color scale.

Check out this comprehensive list of magazine
design tutorials
or this handy book
design guide
for more extensive advice. And follow us on Pinterest
for some more tips and inspiration!

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