Book design and layout is one of the least-appreciated niches of graphic design. This niche also presents some of the biggest challenges to a professional designer. Aesthetic demands can sometimes conflict with what the client has asked for. When this happens, a designer must exercise what I call “assertive tact” by offering a clear presentation of why his or her book design concept is best for the project at hand.
One company that consistently produces beautiful books is Phaidon Press. They specialize in books about art, design, and other creative fields. Their volumes are always eye catching and uniquely different from the average book layout. If you go to the art section of almost any large chain bookstore, you will find an array of Phaidon Press books. What makes their books so successful from a design standpoint is that you– and all of us in the field– want to own the books and study them. They are beautiful, edgy, and always very appropriate for the author’s content. I encourage you to seek out some Phaidon books at your nearest large bookstore chain. Or, you can visit their website to get glimpses of their layout mastery.