You only live once (book by Lonely Planet) – SPACE


Book cover


You only live once is a travel book curated by Lonely Planet with over 1,000 experiences for all ages meant to inspire people to seize the moment and explore the world. The book combines images, articles, lists, illustrations and infographics to keep the readers entertained throughout the stories .

Lonely Planet is famous for their travel guides to every destination and is the largest travel guide publisher. It now has numerous products including travel guides, travel books, calendar, planner, internet presence, mobile application and television series. But one thing for sure, they are the experts in travel.

Originally printed: 1 October 2014

Number of pages: 336

Book dimensions 24cm x  20.5cm x 2cm

Personally, i think the size is too big for readers to carry around. It’s more of a book where you leave at home and read. I think it could be better if the size is smaller so people can take it around and get inspired anywhere. However, i understand with this size you get clear images of the photos and more space to play around with.


The page design varies throughout, so below are some common design that appear multiple times in the book.

The 2 pages about penguins above is a common design in the book where they use up the whole page on the left page and another 3cm of the right page to feature an image. The margin between the main text and the photo is 1.90cm and 1.10cm between the text and the edge of the book.  The margin between the heading and the photo is 5.9cm and 5.1cm between the heading and the edge of the book. While the whole text seems to be in the middle of the white space, when measure the margin, the texts are actually closer to the right edge. As for the width of the main paragraph is 14.30cm. lower part of the page include lists, the space between the yellow lines are 3.5cm and the left margin between text and yellow line is 0.2cm. The maximum width of the text is 3cm.

This is another typical design of the book, where the photo took up the most of the page space leaving white space either on the left or right side with the width of 5.60cm. The margin between the text and the image is 0.4cm and 2.50cm between the heading and the top edge.

There is no gutter in the book because most pages would be filled with photos and the texts are usually in 1 or 2 paragraph in the middle of a page or a small description next to the big photo.


There are many layout designs throughout the book, but the theme is consistent for each chapter. It is often 1 story per double page. The layout looks sophisticated due to the simplicity and good use of white space. The book emphasizes on big photos that would cover half the page, full page and another 3cm of the double page or 14.70cm in some cases. The text design is pretty simple, the size determines its hierarchy of having big text for heading, smaller texts for the sub-heading and smallest for the main text. However, with the heading, the design often vary depends on the topic. For example, the text that says ” Dawn” has a fading effect to represent the dawn illusion.

In addition, some cases would have illustrations to go along with the topic surrounding the heading and use of the white space to tell the story. The extra visual aids helps with the playful theme of the topic.

As for the illustrations below, it uses space and illustration to emphasize on the length of Walk Of Life. This is very effective, as not only it is easy to follow, but the message convey the sense of what the story would be about without even reading the main passage yet.

The layout is consistent, but the book use of illustration and space really help deliver the story’s message and mood even before the readers read the text.

Overall, i think how they design the layout and the use of space and photo is very effective and clean. Easy to follow, yet deliver the message loud and clear. I really enjoy looking through the design to see what else they can play with the typography or space.


Tanya Monthakarntivong