by Debbie Berne
University of Chicago Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-0-226-83266-1 | Paper: 978-0-226-82295-2
Library of Congress Classification Z246.B475 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 744.52

Seasoned designer Debbie Berne presents an accessible introduction to book design for authors, editors, and other book people.
Design is central to the appeal, messaging, and usefulness of books, but to most readers, it’s mysterious or even invisible. Through interiors as well as covers, designers provide structure and information that shape the meaning and experience of books. In The Design of Books, Debbie Berne shines a light on the conventions and processes of her profession, revealing both the aesthetic and market-driven decisions designers consider to make books readable and beautiful. In clear, unstuffy language, Berne reveals how books are put together, with discussions of production considerations, typography and fonts, page layouts, use of images and color, special issues for ebooks, and the very face of each book: the cover.  
The Design of Books
speaks to readers and directly to books’ creators—authors, editors, and other publishing professionals—helping them to become more informed partners in the design of their projects. Berne lays out the practical steps at each stage of the design process, providing insight into who does what when and offering advice for authors on how to be effective advocates for their ideas while also letting go and trusting their manuscripts with teams of professionals. She includes guidance as well for self-publishing authors, including where to find a designer, what to expect from that relationship, and how to art direct your own book.
Throughout, Berne teaches how understanding the whats, hows, and whys of book design heightens our appreciation of these cherished objects and helps everyone involved in the process to create more functional, desirable, and wonderful books.