This is a guest post by Robert Schram.

As the founder and owner of Bookends Design, I have worked in the publishing industry since 1984. I have served in a variety of capacities; as a production manager in publishing, an art director in video production, as well as a small business owner. I have always enjoyed the enthusiasm of every new client, their passion for their subject, and assisting them in bringing their project to fruition. Over the course of the years, I have invariably found it helpful to present an overview of the design process that I utilize in order to afford a better understanding of my role in designing your book. Often beginning with a face-to-face meeting, clients will frequently ask, what does a book designer actually do? In answer to that question I developed The Book Design Process:

Design Brief. The overall project is discussed including a review of the subject matter and the proposed physical characteristics of your book or cover.

Concept Development. Verbal concepts are developed to focus on the direction you wish to pursue visually.

Design Research. Design research is done for the selected concepts. Graphic elements are introduced.

Thumbnail Sketches. An exploration on paper of possible design solutions, the best of which are selected for further development.

Rough Layout. Generally composed on a computer in actual size, refined and then evaluated, the best of which are selected for even further development.

Comprehensive Layout. Rendered with enhanced detail and precision and presented to you for final approval. Color selection occurs at this stage.

Art Production and Proofreading. A final proof is prepared incorporating any revisions or corrections.

Preparation for Printing and Electronic File Submission. Files are ‘pre-flighted’ to assure that all images and fonts are present before outputting. A full-color interim proof of your cover would be advisable.

Matchprint and Bluelines. Final proofs are obtained from the printer to assure that prepress was completed to our specifications.

Each book is unique and in the context of this process it remains the task of the designer to create the look of the dust jacket or cover of your book; along with developing its personality, driven by a meaningful, imaginative style and visual flow.

bobAs the founder and owner of Bookends Design, I have served as a Publishing Resource since 1984. Having worked as a production manager in publishing, art director in video production, and small business owner, I have experienced the gamut of client and vendor interaction. Whether you are a publisher, business, school, author, or individual and you require graphic design, art direction, project management, print coordination, publishing consulting, or anything in between, Bookends is available to serve your needs.