The Nitty & Gritty Of Designing And Illustrating A Book

I hate hitting snags. When I have an idea, I want it to just work. Yes, I know we are all
like that, but it is so frustrating when something goes wrong.


I am all about white space when designing. If you are unfamiliar with that term you can
find this book at Amazon, which I feel is one of the best books to explain it:


White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through
Graphic, Web, and Multimedia Design by Rebecca Hagen & Kim Golombisky (2010 Edition).


If you are following closely, you remember I talked about “the doors” in a past post. You can
read about it here:


January 10, 2016 – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You


My snag is the fact of keeping enough white space in Be ~ Biblical Wisdom for Children, yet
working with the printer’s requirements with bleeds and full spreads. A full spread is when
your picture takes up both sides of the book. You can encounter a problem when your printer
doesn’t line up both sides of the picture properly, and it requires really good quality control.
Many printers will recommend you do NOT spread across both sides of the book, and I think
it shows the level of printer you are dealing with when they remind you of this fact. Frankly,
unless you have a template (from your printer), and detailed instructions (from the printer),
I wouldn’t recommend it, either. What’s the problem then, you ask?


I assumed, after working with some of the top printing labs in America, that self-publishing
would have this information readily available for the person that actually knows how to understand
and utilize it. I was mistaken. It was another “door” (see the previous post to understand my door
analogy) not opened until too late. In fact, I found at this “door” that I didn’t even have a template
to work with their “unique” printer.


Why is a template important, you might wonder? Templates allow you to clearly see where their
cut line is compared to their bleed line. It can simplify your document setup, and it will pretty much
guarantee your success because you will ensure your key elements are within the safe zone.
“Unique” printers, which are typically NOT the top labs in America, can vary these key ratios so
greatly that you will have to redesign your document over and over. This is not what you want to
do.  Nor do you want to have your document printed with text cut off. Always have the bleed and
document size correct before you proceed. If you don’t have this information, ask for it. If the printer
you are looking at has no clue as to what you are speaking about, then trust me, this is not the
printer you want to work on your project with. Go find another printer.


My oldest daughter was the one to rescue the project. She came up with the idea of splitting the
picture to one side and having text only on the other side. She felt this was fail safe. Other creative
people can add so much to your project. Never discount their ideas. My daughter is only sixteen,
but her idea kept me from throwing in the towel today. Her suggestion produced a new direction
into the project, and I was able to come up with a couple of new ideas.


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