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Thinking Like A Book Designer

with Jessica Helfand and Michael Bierut

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Introduction

    06:14
  •   07 What Makes a Successful Book Cover

    14:57

Class duration: 4h 37m

See all 15 lessons
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About The Class

Insight from leading design minds of our time

Print is not dead, and in this class you’ll learn about the elements that go into designing a book. Jessica Helfand and Michael Beirut are renowned designers and experts in the field of design, and in this class you have the chance to learn from their years of expertise! If you’re interested in designing a book, personally or professionally, this class will teach you what you need to get started, including:

Lesson 1: The History of Book design

Lesson 2: How to work with Grids, Grid Systems, and Text

Lesson 3: Approaches to Art Book Design

Lesson 4: How Book Design Engages and Entertains 

Lesson 5: Approaches to Cover Design for Fiction 

Lesson 6: What Makes a Successful Book Cover

Lesson 7: How to Approach Cover Design for a Series

Lesson 8: Detailing Book Anatomy Part 1

Lesson 9: Detailing Book Anatomy Part 2

Lesson 10: Approaches to Fine Tuning Typography

Lesson 11: Methods to Creating your Own Book

Lesson 12: Abbott Miller: Personal Book Project–Case Study

Lesson 13: Michael Bierut: Personal Book Project-Case Study

Lesson 14: Jessica Helfand: Personal Book Project–Case Study

Lesson 15: Best Practices in Book Design

Jessica and Michael also share a series of behind-the-scenes interviews with seasoned designers working at the publishing giant Random House and award-winning design studio Pentagram. This class provides a full- bodied robust understanding of all the things that go into being a book designer, a classic tenet to anyone who makes things in the world. 




Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Introduction

    06:14
  2. 02

    The History of Book Design

    24:16
  3. 03

    How to work with Grids, Grid Systems, and Text

    15:34
  4. 04

    Approaches to Art Book Design

    41:27
  5. 05

    How Magazine Design Engages And Entertains

    23:52
  6. 06

    Approaches To Fiction Cover Design

    23:13
  7. 07

    What Makes a Successful Book Cover

    14:57
  8. 08

    How to Approach Cover Design for a Series

    24:23
  9. 09

    Detailing Book Anatomy Part 1

    19:28
  10. 10

    Detailing Book Anatomy Part 2

    13:09
  11. 11

    Approaches to Fine Tuning Typography

    18:38
  12. 12

    Abbott Miller: Personal Book Project–Case Study

    04:28
  13. 13

    Michael Bierut: Personal Book Project-Case Study

    21:16
  14. 14

    Jessica Helfand: Personal Book Project–Case Study

    15:57
  15. 15

    Best Practices in Book Design And Final Q & A

    10:41

Meet Your Experts

Jessica Helfand

Jessica Helfand is a designer, writer, and educator. She has written for numerous national publications, and is the author of several books on visual and cultural criticism including Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media and Visual Culture (2001), Reinventing the Wheel (2002) and the critically acclaimed ... read more

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Michael Bierut

Michael Bierut studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, graduating summa cum laude in 1980. Prior to joining Pentagram in 1990 as a partner in the firm’s New York office, he worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as ... read more

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Bonus Material

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Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Discount Code
  • mp4 Approaches and Elements of Magazine Design - HD (1.4 GB)
  • pdf Resources

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Leonie Holzman

    October 2016

    I had an opportunity to be in the live studio audience for Thinking Like a Book Designer. The session was rich with content, taking us through the whole process of what goes into designing a book as well as interviewing top book designers in the field. I also appreciated the lively exchange between the presenters Jessica Heifand and Michael Bierut. As someone who over the years got burned out as a graphic designer, feeling more like a machine than a designer often times, it reminded me of why I was drawn to become a graphic deisgner in the first place.

  • Sonny Pham

    Sonny Pham

    October 2016

    I had an opportunity to attend this amazing workshop by Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand. I was gained information about the history of book design, the do's and don'ts, and even insight on the industry itself. It was a surreal experience! My favorite part of the lesson has to be when Jessica and Michael interviewed other artists about their books, with an very in depth analysis on their design choices and process. After seeing Michael explain his design process for his book, I bought it after the class was done. Definitely worth the money for the lesson, and will be back for more!

  • Anna Pankin

    November 2016

    Very engaging and informative class! My only 2 recommendations for the creators (if they read the comments) would be to add a pdf file of the presentation available to download (since it has all the references and visual examples) and, as someone below already mentioned, it would have been nice to actually see the magazine and book pages close-up just as they were being discussed in the videos. But overall I loved the course and the lecturers, who are a true inspiration.

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