800.767.6066 316.522.5599

While POD Print has an experienced design team that can help create your book’s interior text files, you may wish to design your layout on your own instead. If so, here are some tips and tricks for maximum readability and a professional product.


Text Alignment

In the example above, the text is set to left-aligned, the default alignment in Microsoft Word and many other word-processing programs. This keeps the left side flush, but leaves the right edge ragged. For printed books, this is not the standard. Most printed books use a “fully justified” alignment that keeps both sides flush to the edge margins.

Font Choice

Now that we’ve applied full justification, we can tackle the font selection for the text. Most printed books use a serif font, which has small “serifs” (or “feet”) at the bottom. These sorts of typefaces lead the eye more easily from word to word, so they’re ideal for larger blocks of text in print. Times New Roman is a classic example of a serif typeface.

In our book layout above, the font is the current Word default, Calibri. This is a sans-serif (“without feet”) font and is more suited for on-screen usage or small bits of text like headlines, rather than body type.

For more information on the difference between serif and sans-serif fonts, check out our blog post on font choice for logos.

Font Size

So we’ve swapped the font for a nice, readable serif, but the size is a bit large for these page dimensions. For printed books, 10-point to 12-point is a fairly common size, so we’ll downsize ours to 10-point.

Line Spacing

In printing, the space between lines of type is referred to as “leading”, named for the strips of lead that were placed between the letter blocks on old printing presses. The leading in the sample above is a bit tight with the lines of type placed so closely together. This can make blocks of text harder to read, because it’s more difficult for the eye to pan from one line to the next. Let’s add a little more spacing. Standard spacing is about 125% to 140% of the font size, so if our type is 10-point, we’ll choose a spacing closer to 13-point.


The spacing between the edge of the page and the text can also affect how easy or difficult it is to read a book. Standard spacing for most novels is somewhere around 5/8” to 1”. The sample above was a bit tight at 1/2”, so we’ll add a little extra margin.


There, that’s much more readable! Next up, gutters. The space in the middle of the book where it’s bound is called the gutter. This uses up a little bit of the margin on the inside, so you’ll want to add just a little extra margin in the center of the book to allow for that, so the margins look visually similar when the book is open.

Headers and Footers

With our gutters now set, we only have the finishing touch left: headers and footers. These can be the extra flourishes that really help your book shine. There’s some wiggle room in where to place these items, but the headers and footers usually include the book’s title, the author, and the page numbers. Check out some of the books on your shelf for examples of variations, but we’ve included a sample below as well.


And there you have it! The graphic design tips that will make your book look like a professional product. If this feels a bit overwhelming, please reach out to us and our design team would be happy to work with you to create a layout for you.

See What Our Customers Have to Say

Despite all the revisions I threw at you, this was still the smoothest catalog development/printing/distribution in our company history! I am grateful to have you as a partner moving forward!

– Manufacturing Industry | Marketing Manager

POD Print is an amazing company to work with! Everyone on the team is always very helpful. Whether we need ideas for new projects or a last-minute shipment, we know we can count on POD Print. Our company wouldn’t be where it is without them.

– Trade School Director

POD Print has been a long-time partner with us. The whole team always works hard to understand our business needs and customize a solution to help us achieve our goals. The result is a high-quality product paired with a quick response and a smile.

– Flight Instruction | Program Director

POD Print’s online portal has been a huge benefit to our company. We needed a convenient way to order our printed material, and POD Print delivered. The system is easy to use, and adding new items is quick and simple. We see POD Print as our partner in delivering a better product to our customers.

– Flight Instruction Facility | Program Director

POD Print is a wonderful company. Not only do they take pride in their product; they always go far and beyond the norm to help and assist if any dilemma may arise or any improvements are needed.

– Aviation Industry | Supply Chain Specialist

I asked a successful author who his favorite printer was. When he said POD Print without hesitation, that was enough endorsement. I quickly learned that POD Print is enthusiastic, friendly, competent, and encouraging. Now when people ask me where I got my books printed, I don’t hesitate to tell them POD Print as well.

– Author