Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New

By Daniel Berkeley Updike | Go to book overview

THE ESSENTIALS OF A WELL-MADE BOOK

IN this paper I propose to treat as briefly as I can the essential processes involved in constructing a well-made book. They consist in: the preparation of copy, choice of type and of type ornaments, format, typesetting or composition, proof-reading, make-up, imposition and margins, paper as it affects type, presswork, and binding. Now, before treating the processes I want to define typography. It is (to quote my friend Stanley Morison) "the craft of rightly disposing printing material in accordance with a specific purpose; of so arranging the letters, distributing the space and controlling the type as to aid to the maximum the reader's comprehension of the text. Typography is the efficient means to an essentially utilitarian and only accidentally aesthetic end." That statement straightens out many misapprehensions. Morison furthermore discourages the "arty" practitioner by adding, "Enjoyment of patterns is rarely the reader's chief aim." The conclusion we arrive at from this is that it is the object of a book to be a transparent medium between the words of its writer and the mind of its reader. This dictates the chief factors to be dealt with. "To make a thoroughly good book," said DeVinne, "out of a lot of jumbled manuscript; to select a type appropriate to the subject; to determine its size so that it shall be in fit proportion to the margin; to correctly determine by graduated size of type, the relative importance of extracts, letters, poetry, notes,

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Some Aspects of Printing, Old and New
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Foreword 1
  • Gutenberg And His Relation to Printers Today 5
  • The Essentials Of a Well-Made Book 23
  • Some Tendencies in Modern Typography 41
  • The Place of the Educated Man In the Printing Industry 50
  • American University Presses 60
  • A Last Word 72
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