Middle Grade page size?
I’m leaning towards giving middle grade illustrations a try, which has made me very indecisive on what page size (inches or pixels) to start with.
Sure, most illustrations are spots and vignettes – so I guess I can choose whatever size/ratio I want?
Is there a best practice size for when I do a full-page or spread with copy illustration?
CukiArtist last edited by
I wouldn't mind to know this as well. Especially since I would like to include some Mid-grade suitable cover designs in my portfolio.
@Kevin-Treaccar have you gone to the library or looked at a bunch of chapter books/MG books? That'll give you the best idea as far as popular trim sizes, size of illustrations, number of illustrations, and any little tricks other pros use when illustrating in that genre. You'll find that there's quite a range -- as with picture books, story does play a big part in deciding where and when to place illustrations in the text, and what size to make them.
@Melissa-Bailey-0 Yes, I have four recently published middle grade books on my desk with me right now and just checked out five others from the library. (Studying the heck out of these as I also prepare for NaNoWriMo in November).
That's my plan right now – mimic the books I have. They're all just barely slightly different, though. 5"-6.5" x 8"-9.5"-ish. Thinking I'll probably stick to 6"x9" when I do "full pages."
I'll be honest, though. I come from a writing background first (professional marketing copywriter). My life revolves around advertising paper sizes. I'm usually knee-deep in 8.5x11 or tabloid. Other specifics are for studio after I'm pulled out of the loop.
@Kevin-Treaccar good plan!
And yes, as you originally asked, the trim size is only really crucial if you're illustrating full pages or spreads. And if the full page/spread illustration covers the entire page, you'll need to include bleed. Equally as important is making sure you're working at the correct dpi (or its equivalent) so the artwork prints crisp and clear.
One more tip: you may want to work larger than trim size. That allows for more detail, if need be. On the book I'm currently working on, I've set the canvas size at roughly 150% to give myself that room -- the trim size will be 5.5 x 8.5 inches but I'm working on an 8 x 12 canvas. It's just a more comfortable size for me.
Thank you so much. That's incredibly helpful to hear. I used to work with (fake) bleed when I worked in Illustrator since I could see my art off the page. I recently updated my laptop, though, and had to move from CS6 to CC and now I work in Photoshop and doing that got lost in the jump. Will keep all of that in mind and make sure I go back to being able to use space outside the trim.
Thanks so much.
@Kevin-Treaccar you're so welcome! Keep us updated on your progress!