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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Book Design

500 Years of Book Design by Alan Bartram (Yale University Press) British book designer Alan Bartram (Typefaces for Books) parses the rectos and versos of pages famous (the Kelmscott Chaucer) and less so (Benjamin Franklin's edition of Cicero's Cato Major), showing how and why different typesetting decisions are made. And he does so by example! This beautifully laid-out book puts commentary on the top quarter of each page, with the remainder being devoted to wonderful reproductions of the classic designs in question. More a set of self-described "personal observations" than systematic study, this book will entice anyone who reads for more than gist. It makes a easy reference a feast for the eye with stray comments by a top-notch page designer.

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