Yet when a selection is made, one has to keep in mind the fonts already available in order to avoid inherently disharmonious mixtures.” “A precondition for satisfactory finished work and for pleasant readability is the correct typesetting of each single line. This defect is inherited from the nineteenth century, whose light, thin and pointed scripts almost demanded word spacing with en quads.
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, by Jan Tschichold, is the authority on book design and the best book I have ever read on typography (and I’ve read many, mind you).
In this digest, I have taken the time to excerpt the most enlightening bits.
I chose these passages because they struck me with some new insight or solidified some already known rule with sound reasoning.
This number, however, is no more than a general guide, since the spaces between capitals have to be balanced against each other according to their optical values.” “Today more than ever before, simplicity is the mark of nobility in any piece of masterful work.
If you have ever had a chance to observe a real master at work, you may have marvelled at how quick and easy everything looked. Laboriously trying first this, then that, is the way of a novice.” “Harmony between page size and the type area is achieved when both have the same proportions.The latter is often translated, correctly, as tact.But the German word has musical connotations which its English cognate lacks. Only beginners and fools will insist on using it.” “For perfect typography, an exhaustive knowledge of the historical development of the letters used in printing books is absolutely necessary.As a web designer this book taught me how to set readable, easy-to-digest blocks of type.As the lead designer on Unit Interactive’s recently launched Curations series, I found new relevance in these pages.I figure that as long as the book is out of print, it’s fair game.So now let me get out of the way; I give you “Harmonie and Takt are words that appear repeatedly in some of these essays.Not everything in the book (or these excerpts) is immediately relevant, but the basic principles can still be applied.I have made sure to leave in some artifacts so you can get a feeling for the text, warts and all.The principles of setting type to be read and laying out a harmonious page transcend medium and materials.A solid understanding of the fundamentals detailed in this book will make any designer better. The English edition was expertly translated by the author of my second favorite book on typography, Robert Bringhurst, but is sadly out of print as of this writing. Please stay tuned to the end of this post to see how we can change that.