Notes on Book Design

Notes on Book Design

3.98 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.98 (47 ratings by Goodreads)

List price: US$55.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


In a career spanning more than forty years, Derek Birdsall has established himself as one of Britain's leading book designers. This practical, inspirational and educational book distils a lifetime's experience in designing books, and presents and discusses nearly fifty books he has designed, showing 360 spreads and covers, all in their original colours and to scale. The designs range from 1960s' Penguin paperback covers to a recent complete redesign of The Church of England's book of Common Worship. They include books on wine, chess, astronomy, architecture, and fine paper and one for Monty Python, as well as many of his award-winning catalogues for museums and galleries around the world, and the monumental catalogues raisonnes on Mark Rothko, Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz for the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The introductory section deals with the process of book design, from brief to deadline (which he calls the designer's muse) - and illustrates his ideas on formats, covers and spines, bleeds, silhouettes, maps, diagrams, and the commissioning of illustration and photography.
An appendix includes an innovative metric grid system, specimen settings of his favourite text faces, and comparative settings in English and other languages. His biography is illustrated by his graphic work in other fields, and the bibliography includes books Birdsall has found useful or inspiring. This uniquely informative and instructive book will appeal equally to students of typography and graphic design as well as to anyone with an interest in the design or production of books.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 256 x 307 x 28.7mm | 1,672g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • 100 b&w illus, 350 colour illus
  • 0300103476
  • 9780300103472
  • 460,362

Review quote

"Stunning. . . . It is rare to find a useful design manual or such an essential designers monograph, but to find both things under the same cover makes this book a must."--Robert Fawcett-Tang, Grafik
show more

About Derek Birdsall

Derek Birdsall was consultant art director of the first Independent Magazine, and has been a consultant designer to Pirelli, Mobil Corporation, HRH The Prince of Wales School of Architecture and The Church of England.
show more

Rating details

3.98 out of 5 stars
- 47 ratings
5 32% (15)
4 40% (19)
3 21% (10)
2 6% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X