The way a book’s inside pages are designed can help both authors and readers save time, while projecting a professional image

Posted August 25th @ 12:24 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Tuesday’s Writing Tip of the Week for Authors (#2)

The way a book’s inside pages are designed and laid out can save both authors and readers significant amounts of time. The right inside page design helps readers save time locating desired information, while the page layout saves authors time by providing a framework for organizing and presenting the contents of each chapter.

One of the best examples of a perfect partnership between design and content is Ina Saltz’s  Typographic Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type. The partnership begins with the table of contents, shown below.


Table of contents; image plus instant communication

The 100 typographic design principles are logically organized into 4 sections which reflect the hierarchy of information related to working with type:

  • Letters
  • Words
  • Paragraphs
  • Pages

Each of the 4 sections contain 25 chapters, organized in order of importance.

Consistent chapter structure

The contents and layout of each chapter is as structured as the book’s table of contents, as shown below:


Each chapter is limited to a 2-page spread, beginning on the left. Each chapter is introduced by a brief principle, describing the relevance and recommended advice for the topic, followed by a series of large illustrations showing the principles in use.

Not only does this approach make it easy for readers to access the information, instantly making the connection between text and examples, but the chapter structure simplifies the author’s task. Knowing how many words will fit in each of the chapter’s text elements provides authors with a framework for writing clearly and concisely, greatly speeding the book’s production.

Authors interested in learning more about information architecture and book design can find more about Typographic Essentials in a previous post.

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