Good Design Decisions Can Save You Money
One of my Big Brand System blog readers, Deborah Hanchey, wanted to spend big bucks on design software to create a better looking ebook. She planned to buy Adobe InDesign, but what her ebook really needed was design, not InDesign.
Purchasing Adobe InDesign would have set her back almost $700.00. Instead, she made some good design decisions using the software she had on her computer already: Microsoft Word. The final product is an ebook she’s proud to sell.
(NOTE: This post was written well before eBook Evolution was available. Deborah has since purchased that product, and is happily creating ebooks using the exclusive templates and the writing and marketing techniques in that product.)
Before the Makeover
Here’s a screen shot of one of the pages from her original design.
Deborah’s original design wasn’t working for two main reasons.
- She used too many different typefaces, and they weren’t blending well.
- Her information wasn’t presented with clear hierarchy. It was hard to tell which information was most important, and that made it difficult to process.
I gave Deborah just two pieces of advice, and she went to work.
- Use the same typeface throughout the ebook. It’s the only way to know for sure that your type will blend well. Make it look cohesive by choosing weights (regular, bold, italic, etc) from within one typeface family.
- Give your information a sense of hierarchy. Decide which information is most important, and make sure your design reflects that. Pick four different type sizes and weights, and apply them to your four levels of information throughout the ebook.
Levels of Information
- Level 1, Headings: Main headings. Make these bold and 28-36 pts.
- Level 2, Subheads: Make these bold and 16-18 pts.
- Level 3, Text: This is all the text that falls under your subheads. Make it plain (not bold) and 11-12 pts. Within the plain text, if there’s a phrase or sentence you want to emphasize, use bold.
- Level 4, Legalese: Your footer information and any “legalese” should be tiny. Make it plain, and around 8-9 pts. You want it to be there, but it should “disappear” a little.
Here’s the same page after Deborah went through and applied this advice:
Good Design Decisions Can Make You Money
Much better, right? I’m so proud of Deborah. Her final product is easier to read, and, more importantly, it looks like a high-end ebook. Guess what that means? Deborah will be able to charge top dollar for her information.
Deborah’s information was always great, but refining the way it was presented helped make the information look as valuable as it is.
Nice job, Deborah!