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Re: Decorating pages?????
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Decorating pages?????
- From: "Christopher T. Ray" <CROCUSDES@AOL.COM>
- Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 12:45:39 -0400
- Message-Id: <199708021646.JAA39614@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
In a message dated 97-08-02 11:21:00 EDT, you write:
<< But I'd rather not have just the plain type on the page. I
don't know how to paint or rubber stamp. >>
Well Julia there are plenty of folks here on the list who would have some
great suggestions for you. Not me certainly, but maybe I can offer an idea
if you don't have any graphic abilities.
Most of us have access to some good looking fonts either on cd-roms that come
with a good graphics program or elsewhere. In fact there are sites on line
where you may download some fonts. Do a search on Yahoo or one of the other
For me it might be a challange to design a page of quotations and make it
interesting without using graphics. However there is a great deal that can
be done just by an imaginative use of fonts or typefaces alone. Much of the
effectiveness may depend simply on layout, or perhaps a selected font that
expresses the charactacter of the quotation itself. Again with so many fonts
available you have unlimited choices now to use something that could work
well enough with your printer.
A quotation is usually a one or two liner event that can be pushed a little
further than a prosaic presentation by reinforcing the central idea in a
visual way. Lack of graphic abilities is no limitation here and might even
detract for that matter. There are so many examples freely available of
typographic pages out there both on the internet and in the print media that
can arouse your own imagination without much effort at all.
I think that one of the ways this could be approached is to simply type out a
line on your monitor then keep changing the fonts and try to view the written
line as a graphic line, not reading the words so much as trying to extract an
expressive feel for the quotation, visually instead. Whenever I might want
to consider whether a typed line might work visually or not is to try to find
something written in a language I don't understand (which is about everything
other than American English). I may then be concentrating on the visual look
of the line without the interference of actually reading it. It helps to
maintain a morgue of typefaces and examples in your files for easy access and
reference as well.
Of course you have unlimited options using emphasis in many ways. This might
be a typographer's nightmare, but it's no sweat at all to do with a computer.
The most challanging approach would be to keep everything subtle and mix in
similar families of fonts but try to use them as a kind of presence within
the line perhaps, rather than exaggeration.
The only correlation between my work and what it is that you might be trying
to do is that sometimes working in metal, I may have limited options in terms
of basic shapes to work with. The challange then is how to create a vibrant
sense of variety and life within a piece without the confusion that may be
caused by too much shape distortion. Subtle changes in texture, or edges or
even slight uneveness adds so much to the life of what otherwise could be
There is one axiom that I often think about when faced with the challange of
pushing the limits of simplicity. Most things that look difficult are easy,
most things that look easy are difficult. Some folks think that my work is
technically challanging. I don't however, because it's easy. What crumbles
my cookies is doing something very simplistic and making it work.
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