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Charles Dickens–Traditional book design

Typography, Editorial Design

Brief was to design the cover and inside pages for a traditional book consisting of only text and no images. This project was very editorial based with the aim of creating a traditionally designed book using a consistent grid system and careful typography detail.

Designing this book was very enjoyable as it allowed me to utilise InDesign in a way that, being only familiar with its basics before the project, has made me efficient with how I use the program and also with how I design documents for the future.

Contents spread
Contents page spread.
Chapter spread
Chapter spread, showing typographic hierarchy.

As well as focusing on typographic detail, it was important to keep the design of the book concise through paragraph styles and clear typographic hierarchy. Differentiating headings from the main body text was simple however there were other elements that had to be considered, such as referencing on each page, typographic treatment of contents page, and the index pages.

It was quite challenging keeping typographic consistency throughtout as there had to be some differences between each level of information.

Masters page Golden ratio
Spreads taken from printer's specification document, grid system & masters page.

The inside pages include a complex grid system based on Tschichold's theory of the Golden Ratio, specifically used as a way to create concise margins for traditional book design, although it has been modified slightly as the original margins were too close to the edge of the page and spine.

Book specification spread
Book cover printing specification spread.
Embossing specification
Spread for the embossing plate specs.

The mockup for this book received hand embossing for the mockup, in an attempt to mimick an embossing plate, which was carefully applied to the test and decorative elements. Perfect binding was done using a wooden clamp and stuck together with PVA glue, applied with a painting brush.

Front book cover Back book cover
A Literary Life, front and back book cover.

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