book design

Once the content of the publication has been deeply analyzed, it is necessary to find the most proper ways to communicate this. The layout must represent both esthetical and commercial values. The main elements that must be considered in order to obtain a successful editorial design are the following:

Typographical Legibility


Typographic Box

Grille or Editorial Reticulation

Material of Support


Typographical Legibility

It is necessary to be aware that a publication must be legible since this is the only way a message will be properly conveyed. In order to accomplish a pleasant reading, the general arrangement of the text and image is not the only important matter to consider. The typographic selection is also decisive. Wrong decisions regarding typography-size, letter tracking, leading, and color-may cause texts to be illegible. On the other hand, right decisions will result in texts easy to read. For this, it is necessary to consider:


Typography is the written content vehicle that will guide the reader. Apart from this, it is part of the visual information of the general design and it must be connected with the theme and type of publication. Using many types of typography is not recommended since they may cause the reading to be messy and difficult. The designer must select one or two typographies considering the highest level of legibility, and must work on its variables-body, color, inclination, etc. This selection of an appropriate typography will also change regarding the text length. A long text will use open, proportional and regular characters. In the case a decorative typography is going to be used, this should be used in short texts-such as titles-since they are less legible. There should also be coherence between this decorative typography and the type of publication.


The highest level of legibility is accomplished only if there is great contrast between the typography and the background-black elements on white ones or vice versa. It is possible to choose among a great variety of colors as long as this idea of contrast is present.


The selection of an appropriate typographic body will lie on different factors such as line spacing, columns width and amount of text. Regarding the latter, if it is a large text, the typography size should take around 8 and 11-12, depending on the font selected and the publication target audience.


Depending on the typographic body selected, the leading-space among lines-is determined. Leading is necessary to make the passing from one line to another easier, and, to accomplish this, it must be a 20 per cent bigger than the typographic body used-for example, 10/12, i.e. 10 for the body and 12 for the leading. When lines are too close from one another, the reading is much more difficult because lines get mixed when reading them. Lines that are too separated from one another also causes trouble since it is difficult to join them when reading. Apart from this, leading width will be also connected with the width of the columns since the wider they are the bigger the leading will need to be for the text to be legible.


Kerning-the space among letters-determines the visual density of the text. The different kerning choices allow not only the adjustment of the text to the shape selected, but also, the creation of different textures. In this way, the bigger is the space among letters, the more elegant and light the text will be. On the contrary, if this space is reduced- maintaining the legibility-, a fluent text may be created.

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