Using XML to do the heavy lifting for printed books

When faced with large numbers of pages for printed documents (catalogues and books especially). The best approach is to find something to do the ‘heavy lifting’. XML is a perfect vehicle.

blog-knmfA recent project also had an additional issue – in that it was entirely in another language and type style – Cyrillic (Russian). The book was to be in excess of 900 pages and the final production process was to be a matter of days from receipt of the data to the start of print production.

Thankfully we had several weeks to construct the style tags – and this is where the key lies. Getting the type styles and the organisation of the type styles to be logical and to map out all the typographical  styles so that the text doesn’t look to flat. Bold, italic, pullout panels, inserted graphics, paragraphs, indents, headings and horizontal rules – all can be set up and used.

Several short tests were done to ensure all the XML tags were being picked up and that the styling was being applied correctly.

Then the final data was ‘imported’ in and the book grew out to close to 1000 pages. InDesign has a few useful tools which also proved very helpful and as always there is a manual checking process to make sure that ‘widows’ and short lines are not left hanging.

This project was done on behalf of Maverick Publishing Specialists

In the end the client was so pleased with the trial run of 15 books – we are now investigating print runs of 10 and 70K … which is a whole other story.


Email HWB Design to discuss:
How we can help streamline any large catalogues or book production.


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