Interior Book Design

A collection of notes and resources on interior book design that may prove useful when designing page layouts.


Herein is a description of common interior book page layout guidelines. Blending geometry—such as the rule of thirds or the golden ratio—with intuition can create aesthetically pleasing experiences for readers.

Books on book design include:

Many free reference materials are available on the topic of book design using TeX derivatives, including:

Also, Reese Patton’s Formatting for Print has a mathematical method for calculating margins based on font size and other parameters.

Subsequent subsections are notes that may help when building configurable templates for the interior book page design of various book genres. If you have suggestions for improvement or book layout designs to contribute, let me know.


A book’s trim size defines its physical dimensions, which influences cost per page as well as margin and gutter sizes.

Margin and gutter dimensions can be calculated and tweaked according to the algebraic expressions in the aforementioned TeX references. Fortunately, much of the work to create beautiful layouts has already been developed into the ConTeXt typesetting engine.


For running headers or footers, mind the following principles:

Part titleChapter title
Chapter titleChapter subtitle
Chapter titlePage subheading
Page subheadingPage subheading
Author nameChapter title
Book titleChapter title


Besides the first guideline, the other items are fairly flexible when constructing chapters and scenes:


For the prose itself, layout pages with respect to the following:

Front Matter

The beginning of a book is adorned with the following content:


About the Author

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