How to Create a Book Jacket

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The key to creating a book jacket design is understanding how the panels of the design work together. Master the secrets of book jacket design in this free video from a professional graphic designer.

Part of the Video Series: Graphic Design Projects
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Video Transcript

My name is Karl Deutsch. I'm a graphic designer, and this segment is on how to create a book jacket. When creating a book jacket, it's similar to creating sort of a brochure or something with several different panels to consider. The panels, it's kind of hard to envision sort of how to lay the document out until you start thinking about it as a flat sheet. Generally speaking a book jacket, you think of it is a cover, the inside flap, the inside back flap and then the back cover on the spine. So, how to create that in one document is how the press is going to want it. So, you have to take into consideration fold lines, where the folds fall in relation to your graphics. You don't want your graphics to bleed too far off that fold and miss, maybe, some important texts or parts of the image or whatnot. So, I'm going to show you here how to set up the document, but first I want to explain sort of how the panels work. I have set up a document here, as you'll see. It's set up as the book size will be roughly 6 X 8 with a one inch spine. So, I set up my document as 19 inches wide by eight inches tall. That will encompass all four panels plus the spine. So, here are the guides that I drew in to help separate that. So basically, how I did that was I have my document set up and delete these guides. The document like I said is you know, 18 or 19 X 8. So, if I want my flaps to be three inches wide, I would grab a ruler or a guide here from the ruler and drag it on to the page to the three inch mark. You can just get it close and then change it up here in the X and Y coordinates. There you have a guide at three inches. The actual book dimensions are 6 X 8 so I need to bring another guide in to three inches and then another six inches past that so that needs to go to nine inches. Okay, so I've got that one at nine. Now I need to set up my spine. So, this one will be at ten because the spine is exactly one inch and usually the book binder or press will tell you the dimensions of all of this depending on how many pages so just keep in contact with them about that. So, that guide is set up at ten inches and now I need to do the front panel. That will be at 16 because it's a six inch wide book, drag that out to 16. So now I have all of the panels set up here. This is going to be my front panel, that's the front of the book, inside flap, spine, back of the book and the inside back flap. Set up some boxes here to kind of further illustrate that. So this is sort of the beginning template for this. As far as how you apply your graphics and information to it, is kind of up to your design but like I said before you want to try to make sure that especially the information on this front panel like say the title of the book or the author or the publisher, all the important information on the front doesn't extend past these fold lines that I set up with the guides. So my general rule of thumb is I try to keep any important information at least an eighth of an inch away from the fold. So, you're going to have about a quarter inch gap here between all these panels. Now, it's okay to run images over it and bleed them on to the inside front flap, the spine. Sometimes, book designs will have an image that crosses all of these. It will just be one big horizontal, maybe a landscape photo or something. It could be a very dramatic touch and it doesn't really matter if the images bleed so much but the name of the book, if that bleeds off the front, you're going to lose some valuable information there. So, you want to be sure to contain that to the front of the book. My name is Karl Deutsch. I'm a graphic designer, and that segment was on how to create a book jacket.

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