As a writer, the process of designing books can be overwhelming. You already know what good book covers and interiors look like, and you probably already know some of the basic concepts of design, but you may not necessarily know the right terms to use.
While the interior design of a book may not always be as flashy as cover design, it is just as, if not more important. A book with a good layout and design may not always get noticed, but a book with a bad interior can ruin professionalism and even lose readers. With these tips, sticking to industry standards when necessary, but utilizing creative practice where possible, the interior design of your book can become the backbone needed for its content and cover to shine.
Another season has passed for the 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests team, and the project feels ever more real to us. Since our last update, our talented design team has brought together the many elements of this book—the photographs, maps, illustrations, informational icons, and text—into a cohesive product.
What makes your favorite book your favorite? Most answers focused on content will include positive story elements related to characters, language, etc. These effective books and our interactions with them rely on the communication of a story, experience, or information through the “text” of the inside, the interior design. Along with the contents of a book, it is important that readers shape meaning, glean information, or immerse themselves in a text. If the text and interior elements do not have a familiar and clear structure separating different chapters or ingredients from steps, the product runs afoul of difficulty and confusion and invites criticism. By orienting the text to fit the market, reader, and content in the clearest way possible, books are memorable because of the choices made through interior design.
Dedicated readers of the Ooligan Press blog already know that The Ocean in My Ears has an absolutely gorgeous cover (for those who are unfamiliar, click here). But did you know that—thanks to the keen and diligent eye of Maeko Bradshaw—we are soon to have an equally impressive interior? While the interior design of a book often doesn’t get the fanfare of the cover, a well designed interior creates a “cohesive product that enhances the entire experience,” as our own Justin Orendorff wisely points out in his post.
With the river books of Ooligan Press (Ricochet River and At the Waterline) sent happily upstream to the printers, the next big project for Team Design is focusing on Ooligan’s revised edition of the Sierra Club guidebook, 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. Originally published in 2001 as a trail guide for Sierra Club members, this collection provides trail descriptions, hiking difficulty rankings, and regional history. The second edition will include updated information, featured photographs, original illustrations, plant guides, and a new introduction. This title offered the design department plenty of creative potential, which began with researching and designing concepts for a fitting cover.