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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.
So here I am in InDesign CS5 and we are going to create the template for our book cover. Just before I create the new document, I'd like to point out that I am going to switch to the advanced workspace. Currently I am in Essentials. I am going to come to my workspace picker right here. You can also do the same thing from under the Window menu, but I am going to come to the workspace picker and choose Advanced. And I will be using the Advanced workspace throughout as my starting point and there might be a few panels that are not included in that workspace, and when I need them I will get them from the Window menu.
So I am now going to go to the File menu > New > Document and set up the following things. For my intent, this is obviously going to be a Print document. The number of pages will be three, and the reason I am choosing three pages is that we are going to have the front cover as one page, the back cover as the second page and the spine between the two as our third page. Facing Pages, I am going to turn off. The Orientation will be tall, and the size, I am now going to put in a custom size.
You will notice that my default unit of measurement is points. Doesn't matter what your unit of measurement is, you can still type in in inches. Which is how a book cover size is specced, so I am going to type in 5 in, and press my tab key, and will convert five inches to its point equivalent, 360 points, and for the height 7.5 in.
In a next step I will be creating a grid, but I am not going to do that here and because I am going to be creating a grid, I am just going to stick with just one column in the document setup and that makes my gutter width, the space between the columns, irrelevant. In terms of the margins, I would like them to be these. Because I want to set the margins independently, I am going to break that chain and I am going to have the top margin be 18 points, which is a quarter inch, and the same for the bottom margin.
For my left and my right, I would like those to be zero. Because I am going to have design elements that go to the edge of the page and I would like to continue them beyond the edge of the page, I need to set up a bleed guide. And my bleed guide is going to be nine points. Nine points top, bottom, left and right. My slug, I don't need. Slug is an area outside of your page area, it doesn't end up printed, in which you can put any sort of internal reference information, but because I am working independently, I don't need to do that.
So there is everything good to go. I may find it useful, just in case I need to come back here, to save these settings as a preset. So I am going to call it Book Color 5 x 7.5 and click OK, and there we are in InDesign, the black rectangle being the page, the magenta representing our top and bottom margins, and the red guide representing the bleed offset from the page.
I am going to come to my Pages panel where we see we have the three pages. We want these pages side-by-side. If I grab Page 2 or Page 3 and try and drag it up next to Page 1, that won't work. So I need to first come to the Pages panel menu and choose Allow Document Pages to Shuffle, so that that is not checked and then I can drag pages side-by-side. Lastly, I need to change the widths of page number 2 which will serve as our spine, and this is a new feature in InDesign CS5 for which we can use the Page tool.
If I choose the Page tool and click on the page, my Control panel tells me the width of the page. I am now going to change that width. Now for the template I am going to use a width of a half inch. When we come to finalize our designs, we must remember to change the width to the specific widths of the three different books. But for the template I am going to use a half-inch width and it's going to cause that to happen.
So I want to put these pages back together so that they are above one another. I am just going to drag them like so using the Pages tool, and there we have our front cover, spine, and back cover.
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