I promised my friend I'd design a book for him he's releasing for free and I could use the help of you guys.

I'm going to use the latest InDesign. The book should be in .pdf format and is intended for printing.

I googled as much as I could and this is what I found out:

  • the project size should be 6'' by 9''
  • the best font to use is Adobe Garamond Pro for text and Helvetica for headers
  • outside margins should be 0.5'' and the inside margin should be 0.75''

I don't know what font-size/line-height to use for text.

I think these are the basics I found out. Can these be improved on? What else should I know before I start? Any recommendations?

Also, I live in Europe, where we don't use inches. Should I still set the sizes to the inch values, or should I somehow use cm/mm ? Because 6'' / 9'' does not convert to a nice cm/mm value.

  • This question is far too broad. At the risk of sounding harsh, if you are going to take on the task of designing a book, even something as simple as a novel, then you would be well-served by taking some kind of basic GD class. All of these questions, and their associated issues, would be answered. But this question, as it is now, covers far too much material than is appropriate to this forum's format. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


I'd try doing a few pages at 10/12 and seeing how readable they are. You might need to go to 11/13 if it seems hard to read. At 6x9 you don't want a very wide leading, so one or two points larger than your font size should be sufficient. I probably wouldn't go to 9/10.5 for Adobe Garamond because it has a low x-height and thin strokes. I'd risk it with Times or Palatino.

  • Perhaps it doesn't need clarification, but 10/12 refers to 10pt type with 12pt lead
    – horatio
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 14:02

There are a ton of important things to consider for this project. Sure, you can use the dimensions you just listed, but this project really would be helped if you had an understanding of classic print page layout. The best book I can recommend starting with is Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style. It's a pretty short read. I can't remember if he covers everything about page layout, but there is a science behind all of it - margins, gutters, leading, grid, font proportions - these things are important and google isn't going to give you the answers.


A good read is webtypography. Basically it just meant to learn how to apply this to the web via css, but it's also good to learn some basics.

  • 1
    Would be glad if the downvoters could tell me why they downvoted this A...
    – kaiser
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:39
  • 1
    Down-voting with an explanation isn't required, but isn't cool either. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 14:22
  • @PhilipRegan Ty.
    – kaiser
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 15:05

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