Nothing is more important than useful content. If you have that, then design can only help to get people to notice it and thence to read it. If your content is mediocre, no visual fireworks will improve it. They may enchant for a while, but in the long run, “Form without substance casts no shadow” (T.S. Eliot). But what if you simply have to cut costs with measures such as switching to saddle-stitching instead of perfect binding, or eliminating UV coating from your covers, or opting for a lower paper grade or cover stock? Can design camouflage the loss?

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