Designers ignore this step of getting the book out of the computer at their own peril. "The scale of the computer and its ability to zoom in on details affects how the book actually looks," notes Brett MacFadden. "I was working on a 7 x 7-inch (17.8 x 17.8 cm) book, and on screen, the presence of the type seemed too big. But then, when I printed it out, it seemed too delicate. It's always useful to just vary your options," he suggests. "Try to make strong gestures in a variety of ways, try to scale things up, or make type more diminutive than you think will work, and then just print it out. It is important to look at it as a physical object."
Godfrey goes even one step further when working on cover designs. "When you're making a presentation, put the cover on a bit of foam or something to make it a three-dimensional object," he suggests. "It looks very different than on a flat bit of paper. You also have to look at how the cover reacts with the spine. Especially on bigger books, the spine can become quite important, and how it interacts with the front can be an important aspect of how you treat it."
Book designers never forget that a book is something that will be held in a human hand. "A book is a medium that's physical," says Frost. "I believe a book has an aura and people are drawn to it because it has this energy that comes out of it. You have to create an identity that's radiating out of the thing."