Interior Design for Not A Fire Exit by Christopher Finlan

by Joel Friedlander on November 4, 2009 · 4 comments

This new novel by first-time author Christopher Finlan is an exciting read. Chris wanted a clean page layout that let readers really enjoy the text.

In designing novels particularly, it’s important that none of the design elements used to add visual interest to the page interrupt the flow of the narrative. Of course, readers engaged in a long read, like a novel, do appreciate some graphic relief from the pages of text. Each of these designs seeks to strike that perfect balance, and each uses one of my favorite book design fonts.

First I generated a design using Bembo for the text and Cochin for the chapter opening numbers. Here are the chapter opening and a spread:

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I liked the look of these but moved on to another design, this one in Garamond with Trajan display type. Since my first design was pretty unadorned, I couldn’t resist putting a little type ornament into the chapter opening design, and it seemed to balance just right.

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For my third sample, I went with Janson Text and a simple black bullet for the chapter number, typeset in Myriad, a wonderfully serviceable sans serif font.

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This last design seemed to have everything: the highly readable Janson text font, a little decorative element in the running heads by virtue of a fine, dotted rule, and that bold bullet at the chapter openings to offer some color variation and visual interest.

At this point I was pretty happy with the work, and ready to send it off to the client.

I wonder if you can guess which of these designs was selected by Chris for the final look of his book? Care to take a stab at it?

Not A Fire Exit is in the final stages of pre-press production and will be available next month. Watch for it!

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Steve Matuszek November 6, 2009 at 11:26 am

    It looks fantastic! I’m excited for Chris’s book.

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    admin November 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    @Steve, thanks. I think the book is going to be beautiful, and it certainly is a great read!

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