That’s what we in the book making game call most anything in a book which isn’t type: the book’s graphic component. Obviously a four-color reproduction of the Mona Lisa qualifies as art, but so too do all photos, however gross and unattractive they may be. Any graphs, pie charts, bar graphs, diagrams of the digestive system or whatever, genealogical charts, drawn maps — all drawings in short, are also art. We tend to call this stuff line art, in order to differentiate it from halftone art, which is the photos.

The word art is here a contraction of artwork, which is what we might call it if we were being a bit more formal. I believe we might commission artwork from a graphic artist, and once we had it, talk of it as art. The art for the book, collectively speaking, is the art program. The copyeditor, or an editorial assistant will tape a little label to the back of the piece of art, positioned so that it shows from the front at the bottom. This is the art label and will carry the ID number for that piece of art. The same person will compile a detailed listing of the art program including the ID numbers. This list is called the art log, and will travel with the manuscript as it progresses through the system (along with, one hopes, all the various pieces of art). There’s an unfortunate tendency for bits of art to be late in arriving, perhaps because the author can’t get permission, or the draftsman’s running late, but even absent art must be included in the art log. This art log will include directions as to the prominence or treatment of various bits of art — full page; may bleed; lighten up; must fall on same opening as text reference on msp (manuscript page) 237; crop this or that bit (cut off — well no cutting is done, here we just mean “do not include”); and so on. At some point someone, probably a designer, will size the art, and the sizing information will be entered in the art log too. To size art you indicate what reduction (or occasionally enlargement) factor should be applied to the original in order to make it end up the size you want it to be. In other words, you don’t say “make it as wide as the text” you either mark it “63%” or indicate the final dimension on the edge of the piece of art, with a couple of tick marks showing the limits. Sizing (and cropping) is often shown on a tissue overlay. We would aim to keep original art in the same condition in which we received it: occasionally you are dealing with a valuable piece. (Nowadays of course, with our end-to-end digital workflows, things are naturally rather different.)

The most elaborate bit of art in the book will probably be the jacket art. This will be just the picture used, without any of the type showing title, author etc. When these elements are combined, you are looking at the jacket mechanical.