Podcast: Steve Tiano on Book Design and Layout including tips for self-publishers

In this fascinating interview, book designer Steve Tiano talks about his work in physical book layout and his tips for self-published authors who do layout themselves. This is an area I know very little about so talking to Steve was hugely interesting!

Steve TianoSteve is a book designer, page compositor and layout artist and you can find examples of his work at Tiano Design.

In this podcast you will discover:

  • What does a book designer actually do? Is he just “an intermediary between the author and the reader”? Or is he an artist in print?
  • How different genres of books require different layouts
  • What is needed about the book to understand what formatting to use
  • What is page proportion and how does it affect the readers experience? Ideas include musical scales and the Golden Mean.
  • What books does Steve recommend for understanding book design?
  • How templates are used within publishing to keep books in a consistent format
  • How self-published authors are becoming more ‘vogue’ so more book design is needed for them as well as the existing publishers work
  • What is the difference between serif and sans-serif fonts?
  • Which typefaces does Steve recommend for self-publishers?
  • All about Fontin super family typeface – more information here
  • What software can be used for book design: In Design and Quark Express
  • Tips for people doing their own layout
  • Is page layout the same for ebooks as for print books? (and why Steve still loves printed books!)
  • Why the book cover is meant to “invite the reader over” and not dominate
  • How Steve uses his blog and Twitter to find work even though he is a self-confessed old-school lover of the printed word!

You can find Steve at his main website and blog Tiano Design. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Here are the links to the books Steve mentioned:

The Elements of Typographic Style

Designing Books: Practice and Theory

On Book Design

NEXT WEEK: Podcast interview with author Joan Kremer on using Second Life for writing, networking and marketing.


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  1. says

    I’m working on my own design, but if I ever go to press — and that’s far off in the future if it ever happens — I’m going to get a professional to look over my design and typesetting before the printer gets the book.

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