What software do these designs use

Quick tip What software should I use for book design?

Maybe a customer gave you an unusual assignment, or your boss wants a project to be completed asap, or you just want to design a little different - and you have no idea where to start!

In this series of quick tips, I'm going to introduce some common design scenarios and how to find the most suitable software program for your project.

Do you have a book to design? Read on to find out how best to turn your ideas into reality ...

What software should I use for book design?

Unless you're an experienced book cover designer or typesetter and you're taking your first steps into the world of publishing design, it can be difficult knowing which software to choose.

Many book designers have their own personal preference for the software they use to create book layouts and there are several options out there that are up to the task. Here are two of the most popular programs:

Option 1: QuarkXPress

You will find that some book designers are still very loyal to Quark (QuarkXPress), a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) layout program.

While Quark now occupies a smaller slice of the publishing software market (Adobe InDesign has outperformed it for the past decade), it remains a solid software choice for interior layout and cover design, and has been updated for the 2015 Design of Interactive eBooks (ePub).

This is a great choice for designing books in both print and digital formats.

The main advantage? You can pay for a one-time QuarkXPress license without having to subscribe to any service like Adobe CC. So it's an inexpensive choice.

The disadvantage? Quark has an arguably outdated interface and can feel a bit boring and awkward.

Option 2: Adobe InDesign

The other book designer is Adobe InDesign. Similar to Quark, InDesign is also a page layout program.

It offers the flexibility to create cover sheets and inside page layouts while giving you full control over page size, typography, and how documents are prepared for print and ePub. Adobe also has fantastic design support. With Typekit, Adobe Color CC, and Creative Cloud Libraries, you can achieve the ultimate in design qualities and polishability.

The main advantage? Adobe InDesign is like a well-oiled book design machine. And if you choose this software, you will not have superior design quality. It also works seamlessly with other Adobe-supporting programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bridge.

The disadvantage? Adobe CC's subscription service can be expensive for freelancers and small businesses.

The judgment?

Both QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign are great for designing book covers and interior layouts.

While Quark may be suitable on a budget and very intuitive user interface, InDesign certainly offers a little more sophistication. This gives you the peace of mind of creating more unusual designs, especially when you think of InDesign as part of a broader support Adobe package that includes Photoshop and Illustrator.

While the above programs are popular options, there may be other alternatives that better suit your workflow, skills, and / or budget. So make sure you shop around and try software before committing.

The most important thing to remember? The right software can help you achieve your creative goals, but the end result really matters! Finding software that you are comfortable with and that will help you realize the ideas in your head is the first big step towards an optimal bottom line.

Are you ready to make some designs? Improve your book cover design skills with our Creative Book Covers Learning Guide.

Good luck finding the perfect software for your book project! I would love to know what you think you would like to share, and share your recommendations for tackling book design projects in the comments below.

Are you a loyal Quark user? Or do you prefer the InDesign user interface? Are you using something completely different for your book design?