Comments Appreciated to Improve My First Effort

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Subject: A glossy book of dog pictures. The kind of book that you find on dentist waiting room tables.
Request: This is my first DTP project, let alone my first Scribus project, comments for improvement very much appreciated.


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I don't have a lot of comments, but in the first example page the text is very close to the edge of the image.

In both pages there is very little contrast between the text and the image it is placed on.

I also see in the footer that the font size is different for the text and the page numbers, it makes them "unaligned". The page number is also not aligned with the images from what I can see (at least not on page 2).

The layout does not seem to fit any of the most chosen geometric formats (like thirds, golden ratio etc).

I suspect you are not using guides to align your contents? I think setting up a "grid" with guides is a very important aspect to get a design that aligns. On page 2 the two images look like they have different sizes.


@Nermander: Thanks! Lots to work on there.

You hit on some things that I needed as I haven't had formal training in layout. I will research the terms.

You have filled up my weekend.


- A


I don't have any formal training either, though I have borrowed som books from the library in the past. Here in Sweden there is a well known book that I think is called something like "Grahical cook book".

I also managed to google some college course materials on graphic design and of course there are thousands of web pages out there.

This was some years ago so I unfortunately don't have any links to give you. But my recommendation is to read as much as possible, because there are some things almost everyone agrees on, and some things that are disputed, so it's always good to read both sides. If you see 90% of pages agree on something, the other 10% are likely wrong (but not always, those 90% may have gotten their info from the same place!).


OK, here is v2.0, after taking to heart your suggestions and several courses on Skillshare.

I welcome comments from you or anyone else.



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I think that looks like a lot of improvement.

One thing though, when you are using adjusted text (adjusted to both margins), you should also use hyphenation, to avoid streaks of white in the text block.

Also now I have not looked at the text in printed scale, that's where you need to make the text size easy to read. Too small or too big text is hard to read, it depends a lot on the viewing distance. I think the body text may be a bit on the too large side. Or maybe it just looks like that because the justification gives a lot of shite areas (especially combined with the drop caps).

Oh, right, drop caps should not be overused. They are hard to read. I would not use it more than once on a page.

I haven't investigated now what font you use, but rememeber that a lot of the standard fonts may not be very good. Also using standard fonts may make it like like an amatarur has made the design. For example using Time New Roman will make it look like somthing done in Word:) I once read something like "never use the Windows standard fonts".

Trying out different fonts can actually be quite a big part of making a good design.



To address your questions..

Garamond 16pt.

I cannot figure out how to restrict drop caps to the first paragraph.

I am spending a lot of time experimenting with fonts!

More coming.

- A


One thought I have if you are constantly trying out new fonts.

Follow the tutorial (there is a video).

Create a test version of your document into which your drop the variable VAR_font.

Then create a csv with list of fonts you wish to try, as VAR_font, dynamically.

This is batch testing of fonts and other attributes in documents.

Basically can be used for much more than business cards layout.


Quote from: achalk on November 19, 2020, 11:50:54 PM
I cannot figure out how to restrict drop caps to the first paragraph.

I haven't used drops caps in Scribus, but likely you need different paragraph styles with and without drop caps.

When creating styles, I usually start with the body text style, then almost all other styles are based on that one and get added properties.

For example in some cases using the body text immedately after a heading does not work well, or needs to be a bit different, so a separate style is needed for that.

I don't have any good tips about fonts, but there are probably web pages out there giving examples of alternatives.

A good font manager is very useful, where you can group and categorize your fonts. I seem to have Nexusfont installed, I think I installed that one efter upgrading to Windows 10, because the program I used before did not work under Windows 10.

With a font manager you can make it so you don't have to see the fonts you want to avoid bu can't uninstall.

One thing to consider is that if you mave massive blocks of text, a font with a small x-height helps a normal reader to see the words (a lot of people actually read words as images, and a small x-height with strong ascenders and descenders helps that). But people with reading issues like dyslexia need other types of fonts.

So fonts is an even bigger area than layout...