The question of harmony between the form, the layout, and the content of a book is one of the most recurrent and fundamental questions in graphic design. This problem is the same than is character design. Have the support of the information to be invisible to convey it better, like a crystal glass, or can it have a personality that serves the content? In our recent readings three books arised that illustrate this question quite well. They beneficiate all three of a very polished but original layout work that allows not just to transmit the content but to amplify it.
Herb Lubalin, American Graphic Designer 1918-81
This book is a magnificiant and impressive object. Hidden in his brown cartboard box printed with silkscreen, it is heavy and colorful. the attention that have been put in his fabrication is visible in every details. The two types of paper used inside separate the content in two parts: the first one, historical and mainly textual is printed on a puffed paper with a cream color that works nicely with the characters used for the text: the Bitstream Cooper and Serif Gothic. this first part redraws the life of the graphic designer and makes a portrait of the american graphic design world in the which Lubalin has evolved. Moreover, the great technologic evolutions are detailed, the arrival of Linotype, the photocomposition… Like often the little and the great history are melted and can’t be telled apart.
The second part of the book, on a glossy paper, shows reproductions of the work of Lubalin filed in domains: type design, advertising, edition… All these reproductions allows to see the virtuosity with the one Lubalin works one every medium, excelling in lettering, type-design, layout design. His amazing attention to detail and his serious have not to hide and make us forget the crazyness and daring that is visible in all his work and that give it today a fresh and contemporary spirit yet.
→ Herb Lubalin, American Graphic Designer 1918-81
→ Adrian Shaughnessy
→ Unit Editions, 2012
→ ISBN : 978-0-9562071-6-6, 65£
→ Bitstream Cooper by Oswald Cooper, Serif Gothic by Herb Lubalin et Antonio DiSpigna
Chattanooga, the Green Factory
In a vivid green box is hidden a book of the same green, assembling thephotographic and documentary work of Pierre Bessard arround the american families living in the city of Chattanooga. Between the big pages on the which are printed photos close to abstraction are folded pages inside the which are portraits of normal families from the United States. Outside the fold quotations extracted from interviews of these families are typographicaly staged. They convey the mood of these people, the thaughts they have about their country, their town, the world and their family. Muriel Paris uses to set these quotes (and text too) the whole Conqueror typographic family designed by Jean François Porchez for Conqueror. She developpes some always changing games in the layout while keeping it simple. For each quote the graphic designer uses just one version of the type family, each version giving a unique voice to each quote. The game of the fold is here to emphasis the relation between the intimate world of the family and the foreign outside world. Between the both is language, the quotations snitched from Chattanooga.
→ Chattanooga, The Green Factory
→ Pierre Bessard
→ Graphic Design : Muriel Paris
→ Éditions Bessard, 2011
→ ISBN : 978-2-9537204-1-9, 75€, AW Conqueror by Jean François Porchez, Casey Script by Leslie Cabarga
Typography for lawyers, essential tools for polished & persuasive documents
Typography for Lawyers is a guide, a typographic manual speaking to lawyers and jurits. The authore explain that today law offices owns the means to produce documents with quite the same quality in their layout than professionnal printings shops in a near past. Neverthelesssome habits from the typewritter era make the majority of ducuments produced by lawyers poor and clumsy. The aim of the author is to give to the lawyers the means to change things by building a didactic book explaining the key ponts in typogrpahy and layout design. This book deals with the basic rules of orthotypographyn (punctuation, spaces…), type-setting (type choice, use of variants) and finally layout design. Many examples and counterexamples help the type beginners in their understanding all along the book.
Matthew Butterick seems like he made a joke with this book. The genesis of its witting comes from two of his jobs, in the main time type design and lawyer. His wish was to offer his skills in the first one to the second one. Yet, this book, because of the quality of its construction and writting have a extremly wider reach than the lawyer world. With the simplicity with the one it explains the main principles of typography it remains Inside Paragraph by Cyrus Highsmith but with trully different ways. Whereas the examples own the the world of jurists this won’t bother the whole public to understand and appropriate itself this text. Behind the false joke of typography for lawyers is hidden a text of quality with an universal reach.
→ Typography for lawyers, Essential tools for polished & persuasive documents
→ Matthew Butterick
→ Jones McClure Publishing, 2010
→ ISBN: 978-1-59839-077-3, 25$
→ Lyon Text by Kai Bernau, Verlag by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Whitney Index by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, FF Quadraat Sans by Fred Smeijers, Cheltenham FB by David Berlow, Amira by Cyrus Highsmith, FB Alix by Matthew Butterick, Arno by Robert Slimbach