on book design

As omnipresent as books are, few readers are aware of the ‘invisible’ craft of book designing.
from the fly-leave

I would have to say that many writers and printers are also unaware of this craft because, ironically, when it is done correctly, it is indeed invisible, since its sole purpose is to support the writer’s meaning and invite the reader in and direct them through the book, subtly signaling interesting things to look at out the side window, warning of an upcoming turn, and keeping the reader informed as to where they are on their journey through the text.

In On Book Design Richard Hendel and eight other book designers take us through their thought process as they articulate the various issues involved in a particular project, examine alternative ways of resolving them, and sharing why they made the decisions they did. The book itself is one I refer to many times to reread, deconstruct and find new layers of subtlety.

Those unfamiliar with book design—and that includes a great many graphic designers—will begin to see that book design involves far more than “picking a template and choosing the right font”.