Yes, designing books is actually a job – it’s not something you just wing.
Sawyer’s rules for book layout:
- Be conservative.
- If you haven’t seen somebody else do it that way before, it’s probably a bad idea.
- Actually have a published book at your side while designing your own – to see how it’s done.
- Don’t suck.
I would add to #2, “Even if you have seen somebody do it that way, it could still be a bad idea.” This is particularly true for science and research posters, because so many are made by people who are doing their best, but are ultimately winging it.