Book Design banner image

Book Design 1: Principles and Process

Course Level: 1 (HE4) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8 hrs/week


There will be a withdrawal of the existing unit ‘Book Design 1: Principles and Processes’ from the pathways it is featured on. This unit will no longer be available from 1 June 2018 (6 months’ notice as per the Academic Regulatory Framework). Please note, students currently enrolled to this unit will be able to continue it to completion and assessment.

This will be replaced with the introduction of ‘Book Design 1: Creative Book Design’ which will be available to students from Spring 2018. This unit will ensure that students still have the opportunity to study the area of Book Design.

As this is a replacement unit, students who have already undertaken ‘Book Design 1: Principles and Processes’ will not be able to enrol to ‘Book Design 1: Creative Book Design’.

The unit aims to provide a broad practical and contextual introduction to book design. It introduces basic design processes, skills and techniques through a range of assignments that explore layout, book binding, and basic design skills.

You will apply your knowledge and understanding of book design by undertaking a range of practical tasks that requires the development of ideas and research, the application of design principles, exploring visual language and narrative within books, and a range of practical design and making skills. Drawing on contemporary and historical examples of book design, you will develop a contextual understanding of publishing and creative book design.


This course aims to:

  • A1 to provide a broad contextual overview of book design and publishing
  • A1 to appreciate the role of design principles and narrative in book construction
  • A2 to introduce and develop practical skills in book design and construction
  • A3 to develop ideas and research into finished outcomes
  • A4 to develop self reflective and critical skills


On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • LO1 demonstrate a broad contextual understanding of book design and publishing (A1, A2);
  • LO2 employ basic skills in book design, layout and construction (A3);
  • LO3 generate ideas, research, and proposals that demonstrate an awareness of design principles (A2, A5);
  • LO4 present ideas, prototypes and visual outcomes effectively (A4).

Course content

  • An overview of book design; a brief history of book design, publishing, and the book cover; looking at contemporary and historical examples
  • An introduction to basic layout, typography and use of images in magazine spreads and small publications, desk top publishing, simple book construction, use of paper, book binding and printing techniques, developing mock ups and prototypes
  • An exploration of the use of narrative within book design working across multiple pages; and an overview of design principles in developing ideas, researching and presenting prototypes and finished products.

Unit Leader

Welmoet Wartena

Unit Leader for Book Design 1: Principles and Process

Wartena portrait image

“I am a book designer, graphic designer and artist based in London. My freelance work includes books, exhibition designs, publicity materials and private commissions. I work for several publishers, galleries and organisations with projects in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France…”

Read the rest of Welmoet’s profile here