The aim of this book is to help anyone who is in the business of creating books. The author, himself a book designer, starts by examining good and bad examples of text setting, pointing out the `eternal' principles of typography which need to be respected if readability is to be maintained.
He then explains the reasons for the dramatic changes in the layout of illustrated books, changes which were epitomised by the work of Swiss designers in the middle of the twentieth century, and which continues to influence designers today.
Finally, he gives some guidelines for authors and publishers, as to how best present material to designers and printers in an efficient, economical and time-saving way.
Preface to the book by the author
This is a pantomime horse of a book. The front end starts by demonstrating some `eternal' principles, the bedrock of sound typography, which, if readability is to be maintained, can be modified only within fairly strict limits. The 'pattern-making' side of book design, however, is a far more open arena. Some late twentieth-century examples demonstrate how far removed we are from the near-universal ‘classical', ‘traditional' design of the first half of that century, and maybe open up possibilities for the next decade or two - assuming The Book as we know it lasts that long. There is no reason to suppose that the technological changes of the last four decades, which have so affected bookmaking, are at an end.
The back end of this little book, the sting in the tail as it were, sets out a few guidelines for publishers and authors as to how best present their material. Well-prepared copy (both text and illustrations) speeds up production, cuts down on costs, and should improve quality. Many publishers produce material in a thoroughly professional way; others need guidance. (Not their fault: no-one has told them what helps and what hinders).
The origins of this book are various, but it was primarily conceived as a low-key piece of publicity for BAS Printers. The idea of adding the practical back sections just grew, the way these things do. But both ends of this pantomime horse trot in the same direction, towards the Well-Done Book. Anything that helps that seems a good idea.
1st edition 2000, Pb, 100pp, packed with examples, illustrations and photographs, 15.5 x 23.5 cm