Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. In the words of Jan Tschichold, book design, “though largely forgotten today, methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve, have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books, these rules have to be brought back to life and applied.” Richard Hendel describes book design as “an arcane subject”, and refers to the need for a context to understand what that means.
In Designing News, award-winning editorial and infographics designer Francesco Franchi conveys his vision for the future of the news and media industries. He evaluates the fundamental changes that are taking place in our digital age in terms of consumer expectations and the way media is being used. The book then outlines the challenges that result and proposes strategies for traditional publishing houses, broadcasting companies, journalists, and designers to address them.
The structure of a work (and especially of its body matter) is often described hierarchically.
A volume is a set of leaves that are bound together. Thus each work is either a volume, or is divided into volumes.
- Books and parts
(Single-volume works account for most of the non-academic consumer market in books.) A single volume may embody either a part of a book or the whole of a book; in some works, parts include multiple books, and in some others books include multiple parts.
- Chapters and sections
A chapter or section may be contained within a part and/or a book. When both chapters and sections are used in the same work, the sections are more often contained within chapters than the reverse.
- Modules and units
In some books the chapters are grouped into bigger parts, sometimes called modules. The numbering of the chapters can begin again at the start of every module. In educational books, especially, the chapters are often called units.
The first page of the actual text of a book is the opening page, which often incorporates special design features, such as initials. The front cover is the front of the book, and is marked appropriately, by text and/or graphics, in order to identify it as such, namely as the very beginning of the book. The front cover usually contains at least the title and/or author, with possibly an appropriate illustration.