Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 172 Typography II
Project 3: Book Design

Instructor: Paul Young


To develop conceptual thinking skills. To communicate ideas visually and verbally. To apply design and typography principles to real-world visual communication problems.

Secondary objectives

To utilize Adobe InDesign as a layout and production tool.


Design and produce a recipe book with at least 6 recipes. The book must have a theme. Some suggestions:

  • Ethnic cuisine (i.e. Japanese, Ethiopian, Jewish, etc.)
  • Dietery-focused (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, lean cuisine, etc.)
  • Category-specific (i.e. salads, seafood, soups, etc.)
  • Topic-specific (i.e. grandma's favorites, quick meals, etc.)
  • Other

The production specifications are as follows:

  • Maximum page size: 8.5 x 11 inches (including bleed)
  • Page count: 16 (minimum) to 32 (maximum) pages (including cover)
  • Inks: 4-color process
  • Paper: 100 lb text (gloss or matte)
  • Art: original or stock (from Photospin or another legal source)
  • Cover: must have a title, tagline and author (you)
  • Template: must use this INDD template

Per our syllabus, you may ONLY use the standard "core" fonts installed in D019 for your assignments unless you obtain prior approval from the instructor (see Parkland's Core Fonts Specimen Sheet). Please talk to your instructor if you need to use a non-standard font from the Adobe Font Folio collection. Parkland will pay for the printing of three copies of each student’s book at our print shop (additional copies can be purchased for $5 each).

Your project must communicate a creative concept and show an understanding of design principles (unity, emphasis, balance, color theory, etc.).


1. Research for inspiration: Research award-winning cook books in the library or the book store. Interact with the book. How does the size and shape of the book affect final product? What about hard cover vs. soft cover? Photos vs. illustration? Paper quality? Who is the target audience? What kind of covers will stand out in a book store (what about online)? Study the page layout, page structure, use of white space, typographic hierarchy. Study the publication design (cover, spine, inside front/back, title page, preface, table of contents, index, chapter headings, etc.). Try to identify the typefaces used. Find examples of books with creative use of typography, photography or illustration in the Parkland Library (see resources). Scan (instructions) and publish your research on your personal Process Page for critique (be sure to caption each image and cite the source). Be prepared to explain why these examples are successful.

2. Develop the concept: In your sketchbook begin to conceptualize ideas for this project (see examples of sketches). Make at least 10 sketches of all possible directions you might take this project (sketch both the cover and the grid structure for inside pages). Edit your concepts down to your best three ideas and redraw them on 8.5 x 11 white paper using a felt tip pen. Scan (scale/crop in Photoshop: no wider than 1000 pixels), increase the contrast (see tutorial) and publish your concepts on your personal Process Page for critique. Also print your sketches for your Process Book.

3. Cover proof: Based on the critique of the above, use the computer to execute at least two versions of your best cover idea (present at least one proof with an alternate font choice). Publish one multi-page low-res PDF (instructions) on your personal Process Page for critique. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your design. Also print a high-quality color proof for your Process Book.

4. Interior sample: Based on the critiques of the above, use the computer to execute a typical spread (choose the most complicated one). Draw guides to show the underlying grid structure. Publish one multi-page low-res PDF (instructions) on your personal Process Page for critique. Be prepared to talk about your typographic hierarchy. Also print a high-quality color proof for your Process Book.

5. First proof: Based on the critiques of the above, revise your design (if needed), then produce the entire book. Also print a high-quality color proof for your Process Book. Also print a high-quality color proof to be proofread by your peers (use typography proofreaders' marks).

6. Final critique: Based on the critique of the above, fine-tune your designs (if needed). Print high-quality color proof(s) for final critique (see printing tips). Prepare a presentation to justify your design decisions. Also publish one multi-page high-res PDF (instructions) on your personal Process Page.

7. Portfolio preparation: Based on the critique of the above, revise your design (if needed). Produce a high-res PDF (instructions) of the finished book (as discussed in class) and submit it via Cobra's Dropbox for printing. If you are happy with the results of this project, consider including it in your portfolio. If necessary, continue to make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.

8. Grading: Submit one copy of your printed book for grading. File the other copies in your Process Book for individual review along with all the preliminary work you did for the project (research, sketches, preliminary proofs, final proof). Review your Process Page and make sure you have an accurate record of your process. You will not receive full credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.

9. Extra credit: Submit your project into the annual student show using a protective envelope. Also prepare an archival quality JPEG (see example and instructions) and submit your project using the online entry form at Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.

Last updated: 2/28/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young