Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chapter 8: Putting it to work

Books and furniture, quite the same thing, they all have served the same purpose for years. Types of books are used the same way: you can read, browse, look at pictures, or even check on something of particular interest. Pages offer various levels of entry for readers, viewers, and occasional browsers. These books will have to look different than our time honored tomes of linear reading, just as living rooms look different than bedrooms. Magazine pages are designed for the casual reader; there are snippets of information or gossip, headlines, captions, and other graphical signposts pointing toward various tidbits of copy. As advertisments change their look according to the latest trends, editorial pages tend to either look trendier, or to deliberately stay sober, bookish, and authoritative. Graphic designers and typographers call the containers columns or picture boxes, it is like a kitchen. The food is the text, the surface the page, and the tools are the typographic parameters needed to prepare an interesting page for the reader who has to digest it all.
There is no reason for hardworking pieces like price lists, technical catalogs, timetables, and similar heavy-duty information to look as ugly or complicated as they often do. If something looks dull, repetitive, and off-putting, people will approach it with a negative attitude, this does not improve their willingness to absorb the information.
So next time your are in your kitchen, don't sit on the surface, be careful how you use the tools and always digest your food, you don't want the feeling that someone might vomit your food you gave them.


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