How to Organize the Production of a Beautiful Illustrated Picture Book for Children

How to Organize the Production of a Beautiful Illustrated Picture Book for Children

Before you plan to produce a picture book you should decide who your target audience will be.  Are you planning the picture book for a toddler or for younger children?  Picture books are read by everybody but mostly picture books are popular among toddlers and kindergartners.  Most of the older kids read story books or novels.  Mostly parents try to get a picture book for their younger children.  The secret of making a picture book is to keep the text short.  The children aren’t excited about too many words but more pictures! They may not have the patience to sit through a greater number of words.  So approximately keeping the words below 1000 is a wise thing to do. Below are some tips which will help you to organize your illustrated book nicely.

Does exhaustive research before you begin!

Before you start illustrating the picture book, you should keep the text that is edited ready and be rather sure about your target audience.  Plan on how many pages you want your illustrated book to be.  It’s a good idea to do a little bit of research before you begin the book.  Go to the local library or bookstore and have a look at the books, what kind of book attracts your attention or catches your eyes and which does not.  Spend some extra time at book stores and observe what kind of books they are attracted to and what entices them.  You can take some of the book's home and go through them, the subject matter, number of pages and number of words.  You could also read some book reviews to get the point through. 

Plan the layout carefully

After deciding on what type of books you want to produce, the first thing you should do is plan on the layout and how many pages you want the book to have.  Most of the picture books have a standard 30 to 40 pages, but you can also go in for 40 pages or more.  But keep the budget in mind, as the greater number of pages the picture book is going to contain the more expensive it’s going to be.

Work on your sketches

Most of the illustrators do sketches down to the last detail and others don’t.  But there is no need to imitate others; your work could be refreshing, novel and unique.  Plan your book in such a way that you know is best. But you should make sure that the sketches portray the characters of the book, the setting and action.  The art director and editor should be able to understand your work clearly.  In picture books it's a good idea to make sure the action goes from left side to right side, for example when you show vehicles racing forward or characters walking, in order to encourage the reader to flip to the next page with curiosity.

Decide on the text and picture proportion

You should have a good idea on how are you planning to place the words in between the pictures.  The illustrated book should have a good pace and an interesting story.  Evenly balance the words and pictures, so that a single page does not have too many pictures without words, and some pages have too much text and no pictures.  So, intersperse your picture and words accurately.

 Design the page layout

There are various ways in which illustrators design their page.  You can choose whether to place illustrations on the right page or text on the left side.  You also can-do complete page bleeds with images going all the way down to the page edges.  Most of the illustrators are fond of breaking through the border by choosing to place their choicest images outside the borders.  You can also place illustrations in the shape of ovals or circles while using full page breeds on the rest.

The cover design of the picture book

The cover of the book is the most important part of the book as the customer will first lay his eyes on them.  Make it attractive, unique and make it special that will entice the customer to buy it.  You could look at many examples of other books of how they are done.  You can place the important characters of the story on the cover or you could display the gist of the story on it.  If your picture book is about cars, you could place car images on the cover.   The designer or art director will decide the font and type of the book but it is always good to give them your valuable suggestions.

How to do the gutter of the picture book

When you create your sketches, you should always have the gutter in view, draw the sketches accordingly.  Drawing a line in between the sketches is a good idea.  In this way you can remind yourself not to let the gutter come in between your beautiful drawings.  Don’t place important images or drawings in the centre of the page and keep the text at least one inch away.

Create beautiful endpapers

Every book contains two endpapers at the front and two at the back of the book.  You can decide whether or not to have patterns or images on the end paper.   Any single side of the endpaper is glued to the cover boards. The illustration which is done on the endpapers will be considered as part of the book.

What title pages should contain

The title page contains the name of the illustrator and the name of the company which publishes it. After the endpapers the title page is the page that comes first.  When you plan on the title page you can give it varied treatments according to your wish.  The title page can contain illustrations in very detail or you can keep it direct and simple.  They are storybooks that begin with the story on the title page itself and introduction of characters and themes can be done.

Dedication page information

The dedication page comprises of information of your story book and dedication content too.  Some books mix the dedication page along with the title page, while others place it separately.  This page can be illustrated or be left blank as per your convenience.

Size and shape of the book

You can decide what kind of shape you want your illustrated book to be, a square or a rectangle.  It all depends on your budget, the standard size that is available in the market is 8 x 11. Here again there is no need to imitate others but you can have your own innovative idea and follow your own style.

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