Putting all my work together in a finished book has been an interesting, insightful experience. However, it hasn’t been easy. I was very lucky to have been assisted by a professional graphic designer who specialises in this sort of work. My supervisor Deborah Kerby and her brother David Kerby were very helpful in helping me make the finished book that is currently being printed.
With the final layout done, I now look back at the first pages I had done a few months ago and realise that David Kerby has taught me a lot about putting together a book that not only looks professional, but that is also pleasant to read. I feel that I am now aware of the things to consider when designing a book, and that I now know some tips to make drawings look better on a printed page.
I had explored different looks for my book early on in my MA. Back in June 2014, my posts on the characters for the fantasy genre had been done with the book in mind. I had imagined that this could be the way the book would look. Then, closer to the end of the project, I revisited the possibilities for the layout. Here are a few examples of the first possible layouts I had thought of using. The texts are not relevant or correct as, back then, I was only trying to see how the images would fit on the page. (These are double-page spreads).
(Above, very first layouts done in 2014)
(Above: first chapter intro page – the size of the font is too big. The drawing should be facing the inside of the book and is generally too close to the gutter)
The texts were too bold, the background was too prominent and there lacked order. There needs to be unity throughout the book, to keep the reader interested and to help them understand exactly how everything works.