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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you are creating your book cover in InDesign CS4, then we need to use a different approach. InDesign CS4 requires that all of your page sizes are the same. So, we can't use a different page size for the spine. So, what we're going to do is create the front cover spine and back cover all on one sheet. Let's come to the File menu and choose New > Document. I've changed my unit of measurement here to inches. Since we're going to be working in inches for these calculations, it's probably easier to start off that way.
We want in this case one page. Facing Pages doesn't matter, and the width is going to be the front cover, which is five inches, plus the back cover, also five inches, that's 10, plus the spine. Now, we're going to need to make three of these documents. So I'm just going to go through making into one of them, but we're going to need to make three separate ones for the different spine widths of our books, and the spine widths are one-quarter inch for Animal Farm, one-half inch for Homage to Catalonia and five-eighth of an inch for Nineteen Eighty-Four.
I'm going to make a spine width of half-an-inch in this case. So, my total width is 10.5, and the height of the book is 7.5. The number of columns, I will leave at 1, but I will be creating a grid using guides in a later step, but I'm going to start out with one column and just as with the CS5 setup, I'm going to break the chain on my margins and set the top margin to a quarter inch.
The bottom margin also to a quarter inch, the inside and outside or the left and right at zero. I do need a bleed and the bleed will be one-eighth of an inch all the way around, and the slug, which I didn't use for the CS5 setup but I will be using here because it is in the slug area that we're going to put the fold marks indicating the spine, and I'm going to have a slug of a half inch, all the way around the document.
So, there's our page. I'm now going to draw some guides which indicate the front, back cover and spine. Moving into my vertical ruler, I'm going to drag a guide out to 5 inches and I want to make sure that's exactly 5 inches. So with it selected I'm going to come to my X value and type in 5, and another one at five-and-a-half inches. I got that one dead-on. So that should leave five inches wide for the front cover, five inches wide for the back cover, and a half-inch for the spine.
Next thing I want to do is indicate the fold marks for the spine. I'm going to use my Line tool for this and I'm going to click-and-drag with my Line tool, holding down the Shift key to create a line, let's just zoom in on that, and I want that to be a quarter point in weight and I'd like it to be dashed, and I want it to be dead-on 5 inches for its X value.
If I were to deselect that, we'd find that the dashes are too far apart. So, I'm going to select it and then come to my Stroke panel. And by the way, let me point out that I'm using the Advanced workspace, one of the predefined workspaces in InDesign CS4. You can choose it from here. If your Advanced looks any different from mine, you can come and choose Reset Advanced. On my Stroke panel, I need to adjust the width of the dash. If you don't see the dash options, you may need to come to the panel menu and choose Show Options.
I'm going to make that 3 points. Now, when I click away from it we can see we have smaller dashes. I'm now going to duplicate that line half-an-inch over, and I may need to adjust its X value and I'm now going to zoom out, Command+Option+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0, and hold down my Shift key and select both of those lines. I might want to zoom out just a little bit more, Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus, and then dragging away from one of these two selected lines, holding down the Option or Alt key and the Shift key, I'm going to drag down copies also into the slug area.
Now, I'm going to select all of these fold marks, Command+A, and then I'm going to come to the Swatches panel and make sure that I'm on the Stroke property and apply the registration color to those. So, I'd like now to show you the equivalent settings when making a PDF. I'm going to make a Press Quality PDF and we'll just call this one Test. Now without going into all of these, which we will go into later, but at the moment I just want to show you the marks and bleeds.
All Printers Marks, Use Document Bleed Settings and Include Slug Area. I'll just make sure that I'm viewing PDF after export, and now when I export this, here we see it in Acrobat with the printers marks shown and fold marks which will indicate the spine, also shown printed in the slug area. So, we need to do one more thing to our InDesign document before we can save it as a template, and that is we need to make a grid.
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