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40 votes

How are the publishers able to print book covers in neon colors?

Simply they do not print with CMYK, instead they use spot colors. Spot colors are pre mixed inks and require a printer to print with one more ink. Its a bit like going to a paint shop and ask for a ...
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35 votes
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Do I absolutely need a bleed for the interior of my book, if images cross over the edge of the pages?

Not only you need bleed, but you need to consider if you need to shift the image a bit away from the borders depending on the binding method you are using. Saddle stitching binding allows the book to ...
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  • 8,108
34 votes
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Where and/or why is a slanted hyphen used?

It's a feature of that particular font design. There is no distinction between a horizontal and slanted hyphen. Some fonts such as Adobe Garamond, Monotype Goudy, Goudy Old Style (URW), have a ...
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  • 73.7k
27 votes

How were scientific illustrations made before the spread of digital computers?

How did they do this without computers? They used rulers. If you exclusively know how to draw with a computer: that's a straight edged object, to help guide a pen or pencil into a straight line. For ...
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  • 4,178
18 votes

Printing: will a font always give exactly the same result, regardless of how it's printed?

The easy stripped down answer is no. There are so many software variables, print driver variables, and even font VERSION variables, that it is very difficult to say exactly WHY a font looks different....
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  • 1,567
18 votes

How are the publishers able to print book covers in neon colors?

There is a lot to unpack here. An illustrator made a beautiful cover for me in neon, but when we converted the cover from RGB to CMYK what was neon became matte. No. He did a beautiful cover for you....
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17 votes
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InDesign: Faster way to resize image in frame

Yes, with the image selected within the frame, press s (for the scale tool), click once to set the origin, then click-drag holding shift to resize the image. Or if your reference point (below) is set ...
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  • 1,481
16 votes

Do I absolutely need a bleed for the interior of my book, if images cross over the edge of the pages?

The purpose of bleed is to mitigate imprecision. The printer "may cut 1/16 inch off the pages" means that the printer will not guarantee that their cutter will be accurate within 1/16 plus or minus (a ...
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  • 4,335
14 votes

How were scientific illustrations made before the spread of digital computers?

Engineers and scientists of different branches used to have drawing classes on their curriculum. Many of these people were quite accomplished at this. We used to have row upon row of drawing boards ...
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  • 55.3k
13 votes
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Printing: will a font always give exactly the same result, regardless of how it's printed?

This is a well-known problem with font design; it has been a problem for over a hundred years. Fonts look much lighter when they're printed on coated paper than on uncoated book paper. It's ...
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  • 3,370
12 votes
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What is the purpose of always locating/starting new chapters on odd pages?

It's recommended to start new chapters on the recto page of a manuscript, as it establishes a predictable flow for the reader to follow. The resulting occasional blank pages are actually a part of ...
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  • 1,068
11 votes

Designing book covers with stock images

Traditionally stock sites allow you download a free, watermarked "comp" image which can be used in your design until the client approves the piece. Once the client has approved, you can then go back ...
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  • 198k
10 votes

How to give photo credit in a book

You can not just use pictures from online sources without first looking up the license of each and every picture. No amount of citing the source will make it permissible to use images. Only the ...
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9 votes
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What is a critical spine and when should I avoid it?

My guess: their bindery equipment cannot guarantee to fold/score exactly on the line between your colored spine and the white cover(s). Same thing applies in three-fold brochures. I call it a "design ...
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  • 110
8 votes
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Inner margin in a classical book layout

Hi Vincent and welcome! I think Tschichold's Canon works esthetically but yes, depending on your binding, you will have to add to the inner margin. It obviously depends on the kind of binding and also ...
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  • 8,408
8 votes

Good strategies for typesetting bilingual books

Here in Switzerland there are quite a few multilanguage Examples with multiple languages on one page (even more than two). Most differentiate with color. (I don't have any example around but it ...
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  • 1,608
8 votes

Is it OK to layout landscape images vertically in a book?

While changing orientation isn't unheard of (indeed, sometimes it can be used to striking affect), it's worth pointing out the full range of options available to you, obvious though they may be: Crop ...
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  • 1,006
7 votes
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Structure of a book. Details about front matter

No, usually not. This is a legacy of hardbound binding; these extra pages were glued to the cover and the inner pages, and do not count as "inner" pages. For a paperback, you don't need to explicitly ...
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  • 4,178
7 votes

Inner margin in a classical book layout

I think you're right. Classically, inner margins are smaller than outer margins. However, you do need to ensure the inner margins are large enough to keep content out of the gutter. The reason outer ...
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  • 198k
7 votes

What characteristics are common to well-designed and well-formatted textbooks?

The simplest rule on this is usually the best: less is more. I have often found myself in the position where i was praised for layout that was simply not overdoing it (see also this long-winding ...
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  • 7,060
7 votes

How to paint book edges?

I, personally, would use ink and a roller, or a small pad/sponge, not paint. Ink will go on thinner, cover just as well, and not be tacky. Something like This India Ink. It's opaque, waterproof, ...
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  • 198k
6 votes

InDesign: Faster way to resize image in frame

To avoid mousing over to the toolbar, or having to press the A key to switch to the Direct Selection Tool, you can just click the target in the center of your placed image (appears when you float your ...
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  • 1,524
6 votes

What characteristics are common to well-designed and well-formatted textbooks?

A good textbook is about content. Without something worthwhile to say, the design fades away. Content is King. So let us look at what kind of content you will need. 1. Illustrations Most subject, need ...
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  • 55.3k
6 votes

How were scientific illustrations made before the spread of digital computers?

A lot of the old engineering books have a chapter on drawing - for example, I have "A textbook on Electric Lighting and railways" International Correspondence Schools, Scranton, PA, 1901; the first ...
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6 votes
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How best to handle multiple editions & changes provided by the client?

Whenever our copywriter has edits to his work, he sends us the original Word document (and a PDF version) with changes, with all of the changes highlighted in yellow. It's by far more efficient than ...
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  • 122
6 votes
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Looking for some simple sans serif book ornaments

If you can budget 20-30$ for a font, go to myfonts.com and search 'ornaments'. There will be many results and you can pick what looks best. Some good options are the Flourishes & Ornaments or ...
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  • 27.5k
6 votes

Printing: will a font always give exactly the same result, regardless of how it's printed?

It's not surprising that you find a print from a home printer inferior to a professionally printed book. Especially if you compare to an offset printed book, but high end digital printers are also ...
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  • 19.1k
6 votes

Printing: will a font always give exactly the same result, regardless of how it's printed?

Laser printers can be advertised to have 1200 dots per inch. Or equivalently 48 dots per millimeter. The marketing person hopes you believe a printed dot is 1/48 millimeters wide. But it isn't, it's ...
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  • 51.1k
6 votes
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Can I write an entire book in Sans Serif?

There's no law stating what font you can or can not use anywhere. You are free to use whatever font you want. If you wish to use a sans serif typeface, then by all means do so. That being said, books ...
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  • 198k
6 votes
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Is there a name for this form of 19th-century (?) table of contents design?

According to my wife - who has been a book editor for a number of years I'm not allowed to say - has told me that there is no particular name for this style. The only part she pointed out is that it's ...
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