December 15th, 2010
I’ve said before that the best part of book design is starting a new project. But that may not be strictly true. Opening fresh copies of books that I’ve designed ranks right up there, too.
The other day I received copies of two books for which I’d done interior design and layout. Both books were published by TSTC Publishing, a college press. The two books are Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life, Second Edition and Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco.
The second book I’ve already blogged about. The first is to be the subject of this piece. As its name indicates, Taking Charge is a guide for students making the transition to young adulthood. As it is a second edition, I decided that, along with the material in the book that had been updated and improved, I would renovate the book’s interior and connect the structures of Taking Charge to the content of its pages.
To accomplish all that, I began by altering the page dimensions a bit. I went from a rather squat 71/2″ × 91/2″ page to one that measures 7″ × 10″. The small changes, adding half an inch of height and subtracting half an inch of width would make the book look more like something one might choose to read and less like something that might be assigned.
For typefaces I chose the Fontin superfamily, containing both serif and sans serif types. Although I generally enjoy the process of matching types for a book—and the Crump mentions in his piece that some purists object to type designers’ own serif/sans pairings—it is sometimes gratifying to set a book with a type designer’s own meticulous matching of types from the creation on up.
Designed by Jos Buivenga for his Exljbris Font Foundry, the Fontins are freeware. I thought this might be particularly appropriate in a book for young adults, an example of how good, useful and attractive things need not be expensive. I had been waiting a long while for just the right book project to present itself so that I might use the Fontins. In addition to being the thrifty choice, Fontin sets nicely a little smaller and is visually appealing thanks to its largish x-height, loose spacing, and darkish color.
Below are a few pages from each for you to compare.
The first edition:
The second edition: