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Book Layout Questions


Mings

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Hey guys,

I will be traveling to Norway for a travel research fellowship this coming summer, and one of my deliverables for it is a book of my journey. I will be studying the architecture of Sverre Fehn, and in particular his museums. The content of the book will be my personal writings, photographs, sketches, watercolors, and a couple of interviews. At this point I'm debating on the size of the finished book, either going with a sketchbook (6x9) size or a larger 8x10 size. Depending on if the school decides to publish it locally, I figured I would be using Blurb to publish it (I've had good results from them). I'm also curious as to any general rules or suggestions for setting up layouts for the book. I know the general have a few different master layouts and stick with those but I have questions about using columns/going fully across the page/etc...

I appreciate any and all input, even if your only experience is in reading a book and you hate how a certain thing is done.

Thanks guys,

Josh

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All images should be created at 300 dpi. If you want something to go off the edge of the page, add 1/8 of an inch for a bleed. For the actual pages since it'll be bound somehow, whatever you'll want to come in 3/4" from the sides to keep it in the "live" area. Remember that when a book is bound that you need the extra gutter space between pages. If you know it's going to be on the right or the left then you leave the appropriate 3/4 space for the binding side. What program are you using to put this together?

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I'm using InDesign, and I'm pretty versed in the images/bleeds/gutter stuff. The 3/4" is something I didn't know. I used one of Blurb's templates for my portfolio and I believe it only had 1/2" which led to some things being closer than I wanted them too.

As of right now I am imagining only having a full bleed image at the start of each chapter, but as far as laying out text is it better to do one column or two? I know after a certain line length text that goes across the page can get to be annoying and hard to read.

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I know nothing about making books, but I'm totally jealous of your trip. I've always wanted to go to Norway (the land of my ancestors!) and Sverre Fehn is one of my absolute favorite architects right now. I'm interested to hear about how it goes. Be sure to eat a lot of that good New Orleans food before you leave, I'm told that there isn't much worse than Scandinavian cuisine.

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Fehn is one of my favorites as well. I've reached out to people that have worked with him in effort to get some interviews/an internship. One of my professors that I'm pretty close with (and is my IDP mentor) is extremely jealous.

You are close to being done aren't you? I just finished my 4th year, thesis left to go.

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I'm using InDesign, and I'm pretty versed in the images/bleeds/gutter stuff. The 3/4" is something I didn't know. I used one of Blurb's templates for my portfolio and I believe it only had 1/2" which led to some things being closer than I wanted them too.

As of right now I am imagining only having a full bleed image at the start of each chapter, but as far as laying out text is it better to do one column or two? I know after a certain line length text that goes across the page can get to be annoying and hard to read.

If you're using In Design, then I wouldn't worry too much. I just learned about the 3/4" live area a few weeks ago. I was doing a full page ad for a magazine, and the printer was concerned about type being in the 3/4" live area and might get cut off if the press shifts during the run. I don't know if it's an old print machine or a finiky one, but from now on, I'm going in 3/4" on anything that will be in a magazine or book that I don't want to be cut off. I also just did a front cover for a church directory and basing it off of last year's cover, the title was 3/4" of an inch to the right making an adjustment for the spiral binding.

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I'm done. Graduated in June, and took a job with Habitat for Humanity in Texas. I'm logging IDP hours with them and enjoying the good work that H4H is doing. This summer I'll try and land a real architecture job.

I would actually argue that H4H is a real architecture job. It is certainly better than being at a no-name corporate firm. H4H is making a difference and helping people out by performing the function at the root of the profession. I do work every now and then for them.

I'm not sure my IDP hours are going to matter much anymore, since I'm thinking about going overseas anyway. I'm about a quarter of the way through and with grad school and overseas work wouldn't have much to go if I come back anyway.

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If you want to fill the page with text, definitely two columns. Keep your line length around 9-12 words. If you don't have a lot of text, or you want to make your book longer, just use a single, smaller text box on each page. Large, symmetrical margins make a particularly powerful and elegant layout. Another thing I like to do, is to keep the two column layout, but only use the bottom 2/5 of the pages for text, leaving the upper 3/5 of every page open for including images or sketches.

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I'm done. Graduated in June, and took a job with Habitat for Humanity in Texas. I'm logging IDP hours with them and enjoying the good work that H4H is doing. This summer I'll try and land a real architecture job.

I would actually argue that H4H is a real architecture job. It is certainly better than being at a no-name corporate firm. H4H is making a difference and helping people out by performing the function at the root of the profession. I do work every now and then for them.

I'm not sure my IDP hours are going to matter much anymore, since I'm thinking about going overseas anyway. I'm about a quarter of the way through and with grad school and overseas work wouldn't have much to go if I come back anyway.

Absolutely, I love my job and am having the time of my life. By "real architecture" I meant design work. The houses we build are the smallest, cheapest, and simplest designs you can imagine (for obvious reasons). Not exactly what I had in mind after five years studying the greatest buildings in the world. The feeling of helping people that really need it is pretty tough to beat though, and I'll be a lifelong H4H volunteer and donor.

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It depends on the font. I use to think that, but I have no clue how many times I've gone below 12. Actually, I think I've used 10 quite a lot. Print out the type you want and hand it to people and see if they can read it. I'm curious to know what kind of computer you have. I ask because I just got an email from Apple about creating books using iPhoto and forgot about that and realized that's a great way to do a portfolio and then I thought about you. Here's the link if you want to check it out: http://www.apple.com/ilife/print-products.html?cid=CDM-US-DM-P0010115-CONS&Email_PageName=P0010115-CONS&Email_OID=ac987d03782a257087dd1a3fc22a7932&cp=em-P0010115-CONS&sr=em. I've seen some pretty nice looking books out of this and it might help you.

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I have a MacBook Pro. I think with Univers it doesn't lose its readability at smaller sizes. I use 10 pt Univers 47 Light Condensed in my portfolio and it reads fine, but most people don't read what you write in an architectural portfolio. I'll probably just keep it at 12 for now on the book, and make the change if it gets too long or when I do a test print it looks too large.

I actually haven't tried the iPhoto books, but that is because I haven't seen any first hand. I may have to give it a try.

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Is this for self-publishing or you looking for a publisher, because a publisher will set the text and layout. If for self-publishing I highly suggest using Lulu.com. Essentially they will size the book for you and everything, and it's very easy to use. Don't use iphoto books.

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Its for self-publishing, and I will most likely be using Blurb, which has a much higher quality in my experience than Lulu. Even if the school decides to sell the book, they would get it printed at a local shop that does some great work (I'm working on a series of books with a professor and that is where he is getting everything printed, with good results).

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Its for self-publishing, and I will most likely be using Blurb, which has a much higher quality in my experience than Lulu. Even if the school decides to sell the book, they would get it printed at a local shop that does some great work (I'm working on a series of books with a professor and that is where he is getting everything printed, with good results).

Got a title for the book? rolleyes.gif

Would love to see it when it's done.

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I was actually thinking about using him as a ghost writer and doing a story about leading a Norwegian High School Nordic Skiing team to the Olympics while I am there.

I'll be sure to post plenty of pics (and there will be plenty judging by the amount I took on my last European adventure).

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