This blog series is designed to provide some basic book design ideas for your books, magazines, or ebooks. The spreads you see here, and the added notes, are not meant to be reflections of perfect book design or book layout, only a baseline from which to begin your own book journey.
Here, I’ve run an image across the gutter, but not across the entire width of both pages. Please note: There is nothing essential to the image lost in the gutter. If I did have something essential in that portion of the image, I would simply choose another design. Also, note that the image title is in gray, while the caption below is in full black. This helps separate the two, allowing the viewer to quickly recognize there are multiple lines of text. All of the elements—the image, the title, and the caption—align on the left, which I ensure by using “guides” in the layout software.
Top book layout tip
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What I’ve done here is run the image across both pages, leaving a small, white border. I don’t always leave a border, but here I like how the white anchors the image, which is mostly black. I think the contrast works well. I’ve also reversed my title and caption and placed them on the image, in a non-critical area. I could have placed the title and caption on either page of the book based on this same rule.
This is just one example of how to run a landscape image on a portrait page. Running images small isn’t a bad thing. In some ways, it’s even more intimate than running it across both pages. I’ve centered the image but weighted it slightly to the top half of the page. I’ve centered the caption and aligned the title. The page on the left is blank on purpose. White space helps to simplify your message, allows your work to breathe, and emphasizes that the image is important and should be considered as such.
What are your top tips when it comes to book design? Share your comments, questions, and ideas on these layouts below.