All things considered.
As I told a new hire yesterday, beginning with the end in mind of a design will make it ultimately more suitable for its purpose. Our company has traditionally focused on print production and so in turn our designers have developed a sound and reasonable “level-headedness” when approaching design.
With the advent of a new creative director, we are making sweeping changes to our work and methods, as well as gaining more opportunities to “cut loose” in our design. Bringing this into the context of the book, one must question how a piece is going to be read. Is it a headline? Will it be simply brushed over, or is the reader going to “dig-in” and stay a while in the reading. Each of these end-results bear different methods of success and varying executions.
To the laymen viewer, I don’t know that he/she would have the experience or vocabulary to see and articulate the differences between kerning or leading between lines, at least not in the subtle usage. One illustration in the book showed how the length of a written column dictates how quickly and effectively it can be read. Much like a sportscar that is tight, streamlined and well-engineered, type needs to follow suit. Should the reader be in the relaxing reading mode, then there can be more space, wider type and more leading as to not strain or tire the reader during marathon sessions.
Many of the concepts are fascinating to me, because I am by and large a big picture, grand-scheme sort of guy. Typography, is completely in the details and even more so, the subtlety. I think that changing your perspective in any manner can become a universal benefit to someone, provided their perspective has gravitated towards a healthy mentality. Becoming more perceptive and concerned with details, can in some instances induce stress, but for me I have changed my perspective of fashion as well. The thing that separates magnificent fashion from the day-to-day apparel, is simply in the details. It’s the stitching, the angles of the collars, the seam of the pants, the tapering of the midsection. Such small things cumulatively add up to make a drastic change in one’s appearance. Equally, the kerning, leading, font choice, size and many other factors produce works that perhaps not as profound, still subliminally please or discourage a reader in pursuit.
Perhaps upon completing the book, I will scan its models and place the images so that any readers that I may have can directly see the examples. For now however, things are fine with me staying completely based in principle.