Can You Design Your Own Book Without a Graphic Designer?


There are probably people who have thought about having a book printed, or really anything printed but were too terribly afraid to even start to get anywhere. You aren’t even sure how to begin with designing something of your very own!

This is rather unfortunate, because many times, this causes many people to either give up on their dream of designing something to have it professionally printed. Or, alternatively, you could end up spending a lot of money to have someone else bring your dream to fruition for you.

This is sort of like if you practice with your friend every so often for the Jackpot Capital Bonus, and then he is the one who actually goes and wins it. Sure, you did something, but it takes away from it that you weren’t the one to do it yourself!

Much like that, there is a big value in doing the whole process yourself from start to finish. It is not just that you get to feel like you are overcoming something all by yourself, it is also that you will be making yourself into a better person.

This isn’t specific to just making your own printed thing, it applies to any skill you could learn. When you learn to do something yourself, and not have someone else do it for you, it gives you a little bit more independence.

You begin to realize how everyone has talents, and all you need to do is find out what those talents are. Which, in most cases, is everything! The only thing that makes someone talented is how fast they learn something, not how good they are at it.

But, without further ado, what are some tips, tricks, or just general pointers for someone who wants, needs, or would like to design something of their own that they intend to print?

Sketch it Out

The first step before you do anything is to begin thinking about what you want the end product to look like. Don’t worry if this does not feel perfect just yet, it will change and evolve as you actually design it digitally.

So, what do I mean by sketching it out? Well, I really mean whatever will best help you visualize what you are working on. If that means literally sketching out what you want each page to look like, then have at it!

But, it could also mean writing down ideas. Maybe you want a specific pattern to ring each page, or you want each section to have a specific-looking title page. This is a great place to start, as you can start to build out from there.

Generally, people want to make things, because they really like one specific aspect that they thought of. Maybe someone wants to carve something out of wood because he had an idea of how one part of it should look.

Or maybe someone wants to write a story because they thought of one scene, or one character, or even one object that they think would be really cool or interesting to be in that story.

The same goes for us here. Is there one thing that is really pulling at your attention? Maybe a color scheme? Maybe a quote? Maybe a specific design of how you want to layout the pictures?

These are good places to use as a nucleation site to spiral out from. From here, you can start building a theme for your design. This will allow your whole piece to work more harmoniously with the rest of it.

What do I mean by this? Let’s say you really like the colors maroon and teal. So, this will allow you to color your entire piece harmoniously instead of having all the colors of the rainbow splashed everywhere.

Many times, less is more. Especially when it comes to graphic design. If you make something too complex, or too heterogeneous, there is going to be nothing that grabs the eye as a focal point.

This is also the time to break down how you want the sections of your book to be laid out, or generally what things you need in your design. For instance, if you are making a yearbook, you are going to need sections for teachers, students, memories, and all the other fun stuff you want to put in.

Doing this beforehand will save a lot of effort later having to rearrange things if you realize there are things that need to go before other things or other things that need to go after those things.

Break it Down

Something that causes most people a lot of grief when designing is that they think of the design they want, but become petrified by how complex it seems.

Or maybe they saw something online that they wanted to incorporate into their design, but it seems so complex that they don’t even know where to begin. They never do begin, and eventually, they give up on their project.

But not so fast! It’s not nearly as complex as you think! All you need to do is break it down into its basic components and shapes. From there, you can slowly build up to the complex design that you want.

Look to see where there are basic shapes such as triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, and all the other polygons we see around us. Then, look to see where those shapes have been taken out.

You can layer shapes on top of shapes to cut bits of those main shapes off and create a unique look. For instance, lay a circle that is the same color as the page on top of a square and now you have a dynamic square shape with a circular cutout in its corner.

That was a rather basic example, but it shows what I mean! Think about not just how you can add to the shapes you have, but how you can take away from them as well! Adding and subtracting together is what will get you a more complex look in the end.

Now, you might be shaking your head at me and saying, “Oh yeah, and what if I want something more complex than I can do with basic shapes?” Well, there is a solution for that too!

Use premade complex patterns in unique ways to make something new! There is no shame in using premade design pieces, that is what they are there for! And, if you put them together in a unique way, then you are still doing the “design” part yourself.

It’s okay to realize that we have our limits. As much as I’d like to say we can do anything, it still takes time! You cannot learn every single skill in the number of years we were given on this beautiful planet.

We lead busy lives and don’t always have the time for our passions. Or, we may have to prioritize some things we like over others. So, it’s okay to admit that we may need a little help now and again.
But that’s still no reason to give up on your passions! Even if you didn’t do everything yourself, nobody else has done everything themself quite exactly the way you could!