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Re: "A Letter To An Imaginary Friend"
- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
- Subject: Re: "A Letter To An Imaginary Friend"
- From: Ron Koster <psymon@STAR.CA>
- Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 14:44:52 -0500
- Message-Id: <199611121957.LAA19330@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
I'm humbled. You've given me an enourmous amount of things to think about as
far as the way it is now, in particular the whole font problem(s), let alone
planted several seeds that will most certainly blossom into...what? I don't
know as yet.
Don't be surprised it it just stays the same for a while: I've got a lot of
pondering to do on this one.
And thank you, Richard.
PS. More mind-blowers, however big or small, are more than welcome.
At 13:04 12/11/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Ron Koster's query is certainly not "too oddball"-- it addresses an issue
>germane to contemporary book art in its www incarnation. I've looked at the
>page in question
>and it is a reasonable approach to creating a literary work in period style.
>>the standard Times font that people use is
>>"close enough" to at least get the flavour of the era. Please keep in mind
>>that I'm trying to do *web* design in a historical style, not merely copy a
>>*book* style (which would be an entirely different thing in itself).
>>if I should receive enough suggestions to do the whole thing as graphics
>>that's easily enough accomplished as well
>>but that would have meant
>>doing the whole thing as graphics (which would take forever to load)
> For me, seeing the type in Times New Roman (Courier, Gill Sans, Bembo,
>Helvetica... or whatever happens to be the font of the day) doesn't work
>with the title page format or the initial letters. It immediately sweeps me
>out of the "period" flavor that has been established.I enjoyed the use of
>type in the "title" part of the "letter", but wish it was at a higher
>resolution, as it seems to break up like low-res computer imaging, rather
>than breaking up like worn foundry type. That also pulls it out of the
>It is possible to use "modern" types to create new works based on earlier
>models, and in such cases the work created is intended not to reproduce the
>style of another era, but to refer to it. Even so, or particularly so, it is
>necessary to control not only what font is used, but the typography as well
>(size, spacing, ligatures, etc.).
>I doubt that instructing people to change their font preferences is
>practical, as even if anybody would want to do it, and a lot of people don't
>know how, they might not have the font you want. You could script a font
>download into your site, but still.... Also, every browser displays web
>pages differently. My biggest problem in designing web pages is very
>different from traditional book design, because with"real" books I choose
>the paper, the method of printing, and the binding. I watch the pages come
>off the press, and control the color.
>Surprisingly few people calibrate their monitors, so no matter what you do
>things will look different on different systems. And that's the least of it.
>I use and have used several internet connections and browsers, including
>aol, compuserve, pipeline, netscape, and msn (internet explorer). Millions
>of people don't upgrade their software and operate on old systems. Even
>versions 3.0 of Netscape and Intyernet Explorer read the same html pages
>differently. I try to run every page I do thru several browsers, to be sure
>that each gives an acceptable, though different, appearance. People who
>design in one browser and don't check with others would be shocked to see
>how some of their beautiful designs are wrecked.
>So although it may be possible to script a html page for period effect, I
>believe a jpeg works better.
>In my own work I do this by printing the page on handmade paper (which may
>involve hand coloring and gilding), scanning it, and posting the jpeg to a
>website. I had some _Minsky in Bed_ pages up a year or two ago, but took it
>down because I was unhappy with the scan. There is still a reduced fragment
>of a page from that at
>but Colophon Page has rescanned the original pages and is putting up a
>_Minsky in Bed_ exhibit in its virtual gallery, which will have a few
>complete stories with full page graphics. The scans are beautiful--the
>problem is compressing the jpegs so that people with modem connections don't
>have to wait forever. My concept now is to have 100K files for modem clients
>and larger (200K-400K, perhaps 1 M) files for isdn and faster clients. I
>find Corel Photopaint does a good job of shrinking jpg filesize while
>maintaining definition. Take a look at the medieval illuminated manuscript
>in a chemise binding at
>which is less than a 60K file to download, and comes in fairly quickly (a
>few seconds) on a 28.8 modem (pops right up on an isdn line). It's
>remarkable sharp despite the compression.
>I'll post a note when the MIB pages are accessible.
>> I could also decrease the font size to
>>squeeze more text into a smaller space
>Be sure it remains readable at different monitor resolutions. Don't assume
>your favorite resolution is anyone else's. I use 800 x 600 on my 15" and
>1024 x 760 on the 17", though I like to check pages at 640 x 480 and 1280 x
>1060 before posting to the server. Some people with big screens like the
>1600 x resolution.
>All that being said, I'd rather design (and intend to when I learn how) or
>look at shockwave pages with JAVA scripting, in which a traditional format
>(like the initial letter) has an animated initial, perhaps one which draws
>itself on the page and is historiated with a cartoon, or inhabited by
>animals which swing from the letter, and background music plays while