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Determining Proper Book Margins
I was first introduced to this method in Jan Tschichold’s The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design.
- Starting with a two-page spread, draw diagonal lines from one corner of the spread to the other (A1, A2).
- Draw diagonal lines from the top-center of the spread to either bottom corner (B1, B2).
- Draw a box with the same aspect ratio as your full page (C1), and place it so that B1 intersects the top-right and bottom-left corners of the box, and A1 intersects the top-left corner of the box. A good way to acheive this is to first draw a box the same size as your page, group it, and then scale it proportionally.
- Once you have achieved margins that are to your liking, copy your box, and position the copy on your opposite page so that it satisfies the critera from step 3 (C2).
- C1 and C2 are your live text areas.
A variety of margin-to-whitespace ratios can be achieved with this method, from the economical to the luxurious. You now have beautiful margins. Best of luck with filling in the rest.
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