Prompt60 #3: Book Design Principles


Art prompt. Open any novel and you'll see that the words don't go all the way to the edges of the page. Good book design follows the "canons of page construction" as described here. The text goes inside the red rectangles. Note the outermost left and right margins are wider than the innermost margins. The top margin is narrower than the bottom margin. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to measure this for your art journal, or to design pages like this, but it is a lovely concept and good to know.


Source: Public Domain image by Jossi

For this prompt, work on the next empty two-page spread in your journal, or on a piece of rectangular cardstock placed in landscape format. There are two goals for these pages. First, to focus on fun variations of one color. Second, to leave space around your collage for writing/journaling. 

Create a page about the color green. You could choose Avocado, Olive, Arsenic or Lime Green, or anything in between. If you are using a journal with sturdy paper, you can use a brush to paint a thin layer of green acrylic paint. If your journal has thin paper, you could leave the background unpainted and focus on selecting green colored stuff for your page. 

Treasure hunt for green in your collected papers: old greeting cards, paint chips, gift wrap, wall paper, book covers, stickers and postage stamps. Glue to the page using a glue stick, fluid matte medium or mod podge. The margin of 1-2" around the edge is the type of space you see in a book layout. If you want to add a bit of grunge, draw borders around the images with a charcoal pencil or dark Caran D'Ache Neocolors.

When the page is dry, add words in that margin space that you left open! A good black pen for writing on painted backgrounds is the Faber-Castell PITT artist pen {brush nib or perhaps an F or M nib}. A good white pen for writing on dark backgrounds is the Sakura white Gelly Roll.

Three fun ways to add words?

a) Include words or phrases {cut from magazines or brochures} as part of your collage.
b) Write your thoughts around the border of open space that surrounds your collage.
c) Incorporate light colored paper in your collage and write or stamp words on it. 

What's Prompt60?

Prompt60 is a series of journaling prompts that will challenge you with sparks, ideas & quotes. My goal with this series is to inspire and gently nudge to do something creative in your journal. To invigorate your art-making & writing practice. The series contains a mix of topical creative writing prompts, ideas for how you might get those words into your art journal and all-around fun ideas. There is no time constraint for this challenge. Work the prompts in order and post when you wish. 

Go to the index for the entire Prompt60 series of prompts.