Talk:Book design

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Odering the Tables?[edit]

Hi, the tables have no structural ordering. It's a very important information for people to know in which order the contents of the frontmatter and backmatter are ordered. There are norms for that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Merge from Print space?[edit]

Print space is a tiny article, essentially just a definition. Its concept can be explained here and/or in canons of page construction. Dicklyon 16:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

On this Merge proposal (the above) I agree. But make sure to REDIRECT. Otherwise, good point, User:Dicklyon!

Yours truly, --Ludvikus 18:42, 26 December 2006 (UTC) This signature is not mine. And I too do not understand the stuff right below: Sorry, signature: --Ludvikus 04:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

NO. Don't merge it. The term bladspiegel came to have more implications... the idea of the 'reflection-book or 'book of reflections' developed moral meaning; as the book made in 'reverse' it seemed to develop occult implications - still with us today in the idea of the 'mirror books'... and there is now a whole body of literature on the poetic and other associations for the idea of the mirror - including that of technical and scientific precision - which come into effect. For most people who don't realise the connection to the arts of printing, it would never occur to them to look up "Book design" but they do look up the terms we find at the time... Bladspiegel.

I say, don't remove this page. ADD to it. DMindon 07:57, 15 January 2007 (UTC)WikiMindon

What are you talking about? Bladspiegel? Is that related to print space? Dicklyon 08:17, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree, merge.
DMindon: If enough material is added to the merged section later on, it can be broken out again into a seperate article. See m:Mergism and Wikipedia:Summary style. Thanks :) —Quiddity 20:13, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Merge from book structure?[edit]

This brand-new article book (elements), now moved to book structure, duplicates much of the content of this article. It should clearly be merged into here. Dicklyon 02:44, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Agree. —Quiddity 20:35, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Book Elements[edit]

The Craft, or Art, of designing a Book, although related, is clearly distinct from that of the elements which make up a book. The former is prescriptive, while the latter is descriptive. For example, a bibliophile may not at all want, or need, to know HOW a book is made, but it would be strange for a lover of books not to know its elements. One the other hand, in designing a book, one would want to know how to use the appropriate instruments.

The User who suggests merging gives no reason other than similarity.

Accordingly, I strongly protest merging --Ludvikus 18:58, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Furthermore, this article itself is quite new (August 2006). It was commenced by user User:Dicklyon himself, and it is he who suggests merging. --Ludvikus 19:03, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I think similarity (more than that, complete overlap) is all the reason needed for a merge. You do know merging means we keep all the information in both articles, right? Add together the best of both to make a single higher quality article... And the person who is familiar with the content would be the best candidate to recognize that the content is overlapping! In summary, I'm not sure why you're objecting to the merge. —Quiddity 21:13, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I oppose merging because I have serious concern with the term, "design." It is highly missleading. In the publishing industry, I know there are text editors and book desingers. However, bookmen, book collectors, and bibliophiles like myself have only a secondary concern with the beautiful craft of DESIGNING the book. As such, we want to know what the ELEMENTS of the book ARE! Ludvikus 22:14, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, notice that my reference is The Chicago Manual of Style, while you omit all omit this reference, you have exactly THREE references--each of which have the concept of DESIGN in the very title of the reference work.
Thus, the appropriate remedy to our conflict should be DIVERSIFICATION. We should make our articles as DIFFERENT from each other as possible. I recommend that you guys write more about the Arts and crafts of DESIGNING a book--that the title of your article!!!Ludvikus 22:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The book design article was started over a year ago by Jossi, actually. As long as both articles are so short, and the overlap strong, I see no compelling reason to have both. If the material when fleshed out becomes rather long, or has several incompatible subjects, then a split would be OK; but not now. Of course, the addition of more good material and references will be welcome. It also makes sense to start some division into sections, with a a major section for the elements of book design. Dicklyon 02:00, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I've expanded it, Book elements, already. I expect to diversify it (from this article) even more within a week. Anyway - you already cannot say it is "short." Ludvikus 05:03, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I think perhaps the 'page design' topic is given too much emphasis here, it should just be a subsection of this article; that, and the prominent image are possibly giving you a false impression?
At a glance, you've replicated most of the information from here, at Book elements. That's a valid alternative title; I'd suggest "Book structure" (to match Book#Structure of books) as a good possible title too. A merge from here to there would almost make more sense now; except that - part of the reason a merge from book elements to book design would be beneficial, is to keep the history of the original article intact and in a single location. (because we don't own our contributions, as such).
After the information is all in one location, and 'page design' is in a proper subsection, we can decide what title to use (whether to move it from here to book elements or book structure), and add more illustrations.
(Hope that all made sense, it's late and 'holidayish' here ;) Thanks —Quiddity 09:11, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Basic Unit in Book Design[edit]

Here is a quote--from THIS very Article, giving the essence, or quiddity, of Book design:

  The basic unit in book design is the page spread. The left page (called verso)
  and right page (called recto) are of the same size and aspect ratio,
  and are centered on the gutter where they are bound together at the spine.

The page spread means NOTHING in regard to Book elements. If forced to do so there, I would call it there merely an open book. Also, this article commits itself to this "basic unit" by using as the ONLY illustration an image of a page spread.Ludvikus 05:18, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree that was a too-narrow view of book design. It can be changed to say "a basic unit...". Dicklyon 16:24, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

It's probably better not to merge Page Spread into Book Design even though Spread is the smallest discrete unit of a book. The Page Spread is not a specifically bookish unit; it is also the basic unit of periodicals: magazines, broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, even handbills. If anything, the Page Spread article (presently little more than a stub) should move in the direction of Page_design — meaning page layout — with an article name paralleling Book_design. John Sinclair 00:43, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Saltlakejohn (talkcontribs) 00:43, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Original Conception of "Book Design"[edit]

It might be useful to review the originalintent:

'''Book design''' refers to the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. Components include: * Overall layout, [[Typography|type]] choices * Front and back covers * [[Title page]] * [[Edition notice]] * [[Table of contents]] * [[List of figures]] * [[Preface]] * Body chapters * Appendixes * [[Glossary]] * Index [[Category:Book design]] [[Category:Typography]] [[Category:Printing]] {{art-stub}}

Yours truly, Ludvikus 05:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Sure enough, just about like the elements article, perhaps not so fine grained. Dicklyon 16:23, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

The Art of Book Design[edit]

The definition herein is the following:

    Book design is the art of incorporating the content,
    style, format, design,
    and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole.

Book structure is not at all concerned directly with this art, merely with the readible and visible results of the book designer's craft. --Ludvikus 22:26, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I've added some headers, and moved the tag and image to more appropriate places. Hopefully that makes the reasons for merging (and the article) a little clearer.
If we merge them, we'd have the makings of an Good-class article... Otherwise they're both just B or start class.
Please reread/reply to my comments from 09:11, 26 December (at the end of #Book Elements) if you still disagree. Thanks. —Quiddity 22:51, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Subject - Library of Congress[edit]

Book design is a subject of the Library of Congress - and it means as it appears to do - the craft of desining books. So I think you should REVERT to User:Dicklyon's last version. I think as it was, was far better than it is now.

I want to stick to diversifying the two articles.
But I do not have the time now - I'm in a major dispute over Philosophy.
So please revert to User:Dicklyon's last version - and work on Book structure.
Yours truly, --Ludvikus 02:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Ludvikus: I'm still not completely sure what you're doing with the page currently titled Book structureBook parts. It seems to be trying to summarize many different things in one place, and it has too many problems for me to try to fix.

I'm coming from the position that we want to create good, long-ish articles, like Book, with Summary style when the sections get long enough. I'm personally very strongly against needless repetition (hence my mergist stance in general). To that end, I still believe Book parts (and Endpapers) should be merged into this, or other relevant articles.

If I'm correct that you're attempting to build what is essentially a short summary of many articles, I'd suggest that this is frowned upon here as Content forking, but it would be immensely useful over at simple:Book? —Quiddity 19:56, January 15, 2007

Sorry for all the negativity above! But I felt the need to elaborate on the specific problems I see, before this becomes a long debate. —Quiddity 03:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Merge from Book parts[edit]

Discussion closed: consensus to merge. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 07:59, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Support. The parts of a book are clearly part of the process of book design. The Book parts article is in any case little more than a long (overlong?) list of links to other articles. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Book design" is the art, or craft, of making a book. On the other hand, according to the Chicago Manual of Style, a stand work in the United States, a book has a certain style, called "Book parts", and these are very precisely described in said manual. This does not involve the book's manufacture, though these are clearly related. The idea involved here is to list completely all the possible parts of a book, in the United States, as one sequentially turns the pages from the front to the back. This is not Original Research, as this information is actually set forth in pages 3 through 35 of said reference. --Ludvikus 04:11, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
    Please could you reply to the points I've listed in the section above this? Nobody has suggested that the problem was Original Research. Thanks. --Quiddity 06:17, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support as before, since we seem to be starting over with the renamed article to be merged. Dicklyon 06:38, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Apolgy to Quiddity. As you are fully aware, Editor User:Quiddity]] there is an issue pending elsewhere which makes it impossible at this time to the matter at hand here and now. --Ludvikus 14:55, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. The only opposition seems to have been from the creator of the other page. Ludvikus, so you still object in the face of the apparent consensus to merge it here? Dicklyon 03:41, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Merge result: There's a clear consensus to merge, so I've done it. The result will need work, I'm afraid, but I've brought over the material that wasn't shared between the two pages. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 07:59, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Editor Quiddities has informed me - unfortunately - after the fact, regarding capitalization rule on Wiki. I thank him, and look forward to cleanup & follow accordingly in the future. --Ludvikus 15:02, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


The part that says "In books of Great Britain, the text runs from the bottom up" seems to be rubbish - certainly in my experience, as a Brit! Gwynevans 18:30, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I clarified that it's talking about vertical spine text, in Europe, and it's a changing convention; see the Petroski ref that I added. Dicklyon 19:50, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, I don't know about Europe, whereas I do know about books in the UK over the last 30+ years! :-) Gwynevans 16:55, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the brits were under more pressure to change, since their books looked wrong among the increasing preponderance of English-language books published in the US. Germans and French had no such issue. I checked my shelfs and only spotted one English book with text running bottom to top, and it was from London in 1953; and one English-language book from Zürich 2006, too. If I could find my Petroski I'd see what he says abokut when Britain changed. Dicklyon 18:12, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Stating spine texts to run bottom up is a European thing is simplifying. It is not just US vs Europe. I know from experience that all Dutch and English books are top down and that French and German are bottom up. That is the books I know which are published in Germany are bottom up, even if they are written in English. I would be interesting to have a more elaborate section on the direction of texts on spines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:14, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Back matter[edit]

Back matter redirects to this article, but currently there is no information about this topic. --Abdull (talk) 14:21, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes there is. It includes all the stuff listed under the "Back matter" heading in the sidebar. It's just a collective term for the stuff listed there. -- TimNelson (talk) 12:38, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

What about footnotes, should those be included in 'back matter'? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Merge "Half Title"?[edit]

I feel that the Half title page could be merged into front matter, as there's no need to have a separate article of less than one line long on a topic which could be inserted into the section on Front Matter. It's currently marked Dead End and Citation right now; adding it here would make more sense to me. Also, could someone upload an image of a half-title for it? I feel that would give a useful visual. --T3thys::ben (talk) 22:40, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Quotations Page[edit]

Can someone please add info about a "quotations page?" I know it is front matter, but is there a more standardized name than "quotations page?" In the book I have in front of me, it is a non-numbered page between the table of contents and the list of figures. Perhaps we can also say how to cite such a page. Thanks! Tntdj (talk) 23:53, 21 July 2008 (UTC)


I remember those... good times... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Other elements - childrens books, technical and art pop-ups[edit]

Hi - I think the 'other elements' section - or somewhere- should mention common children's book elements - fold-out pages, die-cut pages (eg the worm-holes in The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I know an old lady who swallowed a fly), touchy-feely books (Usborne are a prominent publisher that comes to mind), pop-up books, puppet books, there are even books by usborne featuring several stories each accompanied by a little track designed for a wind-up vehicle that comes with the book in a die-cut pocket with plastic-formed cover. There are also good examples of pop-ups and fold-out pages within art and comic/graphic novel genres as well as technical drawings in engineering and science. My Dad was a book collector and graphic artist, y mum is an independent bookseller and I am a mum of young children and once a child - I can see all these book elements in examples in my head if not have the muster/time/energy to list them right now, sorry. I really hope you can. I am working (or wanting to work) on the Very Hungry Caterpillar and related articles at the moment. Help is good.22:45, 5 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kathybramley (talkcontribs)

Book Design and Graphic Design of books[edit]

Need to differentiate!Kathybramley (talk) 15:48, 14 April 2011 (UTC) ...that is; the difference between say the publishing, printing and binding as a set of conventions/mores/tradition and professional concerns and the content as created by the marriage of graphic design/illustration/typsetting/DTP and copy authorship; if that is a valid split at all! I am only the daughter of a self-taught provincial self-employed one man-and-his-wife-outfit designer, mainly doing what most printers now do or people do in-house; but he did it a lot better, looking at the lot of the takeaway leaflets and orders of service and newsletters I see. My Uncle David is also involved in Line and Line in London. But I digress. :) Kathybramley (talk) 21:35, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Proposed deletion, re-design, move or merge?[edit]

This page seems to have problems to me. There are lots of articles on similar subjects that work better, maybe this article should be melted into appropriate sections of those. An alternative could be to move the bulk of the article, with improved citations, to new articles: Book design (classical craft tradition) and Book design (modern). The introduction is very strange, but perhaps gives a flavour of the original concept of the article. It seems not to be about book design as practiced in the publishing world overall but a very specialist 'arcane' esoteric version of it; a kind of craft tradition that would like to lay claim to modern publishing and remake all books in one mould. Or was that just the whimsy of a later editor??

  • The introduction, aka the lead section, needs work. It should summarize the article as a whole and act as an encouragement to read more rather than be a soapbox.
  • This article needs plenty more citations from respectable, well known institutions and notable people - with their notability demonstrated on this page and/or in the article.
  • The order and structure of the article perhaps should be played around with. Picking up a book you'd start with the elements in the sections at the bottom of this article.
  • Can someone look up and post here relevant style guidelines in wikipedia?
  • The layout of Van de Graaf's page design is not adequately explained and put in context.
  • Presumably Van de Graaff's is only one proposal of ideal design in page layouts amongst many. Where is the evidence of his pre-eminence?
  • I suppose earlier in the century Van de Graaff's proportions were a more familiar layout of text books and literature? The margins do look very large - aesthetically pleasing as all that white space is, I cannot remember many modern books laid out like that, only beautifully old ones. Or deliberately retro-vintage-look ones.
  • The link to page layout seems like a good faith addition, but the page does not relate to this section well.

I have already left comments about differentiating the topic here from Graphic design of books if appropriate; my thoughts on this have developed now. Whilst this article needs enough street-smart to explain the tradition or system of book design that the quote at the top of the article and the van de graaf diagram is about in comparison to modern publishing and general aesthetic theory, as if for popular and beginners-interest-in-publishing perspectives, this is already happening (especially if I read more carefully). And I need to cross reference the history really before shooting my mouth off! But I think my bullet points above are still valid constructive criticisms - I hope I'm making them with best intentions. The article does contain lots of the interesting technical details I would be interested in. Somehow it doesn't shine through enough to get my geek genes warm; it also seems to be written unnecessarily dryly and with a lack of wikification. Kathybramley (talk) 09:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


Can somebody add a category Epigraph to the Front Matter? This is defined as: a quotation at the beginning of a piece of literature. A recent example could be from 'Flaubert's Parrot' where there is a quotation from Flaubert himself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I've added a row to the table, for Epigraph (literature). Tweak as needed. Thanks for the suggestion. –Quiddity (talk) 17:26, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Dedication page[edit]

"A dedication page is a page in a book that precedes the text, in which the author names the person or people for whom he/she has written the book." So, every book should be dedicated to its readers? More often the dedication page is used to thank a person, or people, who have helped the author in some way, i.e., a long-suffering spouse. Or a parent, for encouraging them, or an especially helpful editor. Actually, it could be almost anyone whom the author wishes to recognize, for whatever reason. But not, "the person or people for whom he/she has written the book." James Galloway (talk) 17:47, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT Johnbod (talk) 10:03, 17 May 2014 (UTC)