Add comment May 25th, 2010
Continuing in what has become the busiest year of my life so far, and certainly the most successful in my career as a freelance book designer/layout artist, I am about to begin another “straight layout” job. That is, where I am provided a template and make some other designer’s pages.
This is, you might say, a return to my roots. I worked at least a couple of years doing such book layout work in the early ’90s before I hired on for my first interior design and layout job. I have always felt that starting out in publishing as a proofreader forced me to see, in an unerringly stripped down fashion, how words on a printed page are supposed to look. This, in turn, fostered a nitpicky concern for typography generally and an intolerance for crappy (to use the term of art) wordspacing specifically.
Doing page layout in those beginning years I simply gravitated to a line-by-line scan/search technique with my eyes—that is, looking line-by-line—to find every spot on every page in every book I worked where I might “drive a truck” through the wordspacing because it seemed so wide to me.
I took that feel for typography with me into book design projects. I always try to select types, type sizes, and line lengths that work together for maximum flexibility and efficiency in terms of how a line of type can be adjusted to avoid wide wordspacing.
So it is with a sort of “coming home” feeling that I will begin my first layout-only job in a while.