Interior Design for Books

Today, I'm going to write about interior design. Not interior design as in making the inside of a house pretty -- interior design as in making the inside of a book pretty.

These are the Super Sporty books in print (minus books 6 and 7 -- they're on their way). Obviously, the major design element here is the covers -- the layout, fonts, colors, etc. But what about inside?

Here are the first pages of Introducing Super Sporty and Super Sporty 5 respectively. Can you spot the little differences?

Introducing Super Sporty

Super Sporty 5

Right away, you probably noticed the different chapter headings. Introducing Super Sporty has chapter headings that are just a bolder version of the main text. Super Sporty 5 has chapter headings that are in a different font altogether (Radjhani Bold, if you were wondering).

Which looks better?

Of course, it's a matter of personal preference, but most people would agree that Super Sporty 5 has the better chapter headings. I can't explain exactly why this is, but it's probably something to do with the fact that the different font just looks more interesting. Also, because it's a sans-serif font (i.e. it doesn't have any fancy bits sticking out of it), it doesn't look too over-the-top. Furthermore, Radjhani Bold, being a cool sci-fi-robot font, captures the sci-fi-robot essence of the Super Sporty books better than any neutral main-text font ever could. It's a win-win!

There's one more difference between the two pages. Have you spotted it yet?

Super Sporty 5 contains justified text. Justified text means that, even though the words are aligned left, they still sit flush with the right-hand margin. In other words, the text isn't ragged. You can run your finger down the end of the lines on the right-hand margin and draw a straight line.

Which is better; aligning left or using justified text?

Justified text, of course. It's neater.

In theory, it sounds really hard to make your text justified. In practice, it's really easy. Most text editors have an option for justified text up where you can choose to align stuff center or left or whatever. I used Blogger's justified text option especially for this paragraph, as a matter of fact (Can you tell?).

Needless to say, I recently uploaded a revised version of Introducing Super Sporty to CreateSpace with justified text and chapter titles written in Radjhani Bold. It's updated on Amazon, now, and it looks a whole lot better. So remember: if you're ever designing the inside of a book, pretty fonts and justified text are your friends.

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