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Methods of book design : the practice of an industrial craft

by Hugh Williamson

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701284,595 (4)1
A new edition of this now classic work is long overdue, and, with the filmsetting revolution almost complete, it has been possible to write it.  The processes and methods of a book production are of course still changing at a rapid rate, but the old principle of good and workmanlike design and production are still (perhaps more than ever) in need of explanation and justification. Ever since its first edition in 1956, this book has been a basic tool for the practicing book designer.  It is also a readable, lively, and authoritative description of the various processes and principles that together determine the physical characteristics of the finished book--not only its appearance, but its clarity of presentation, its tendency to lie flat when open, and its ability to endure the stresses of use and storage. The methods suggested to the book designer include an analytical and critical approach to the history of the printed edition and to the industrial techniques by which books are made today.  Different aspects of book design are treated in turn, in such a way that the designer of almost any kind of book can select those topics that refer to his immediate task. … (more)

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The best book I know of for gaining an understanding of the real world production of books. Especially good for gaining a knowledge of terminology and standard practice in this field. The 3rd edition covers technology through film composition and offset printing, thus missing the digital revolution. Just about everything in this book is still relevant for any student of the craft of making books, at whatever level of involvement. ( )
  alanhayes | Jan 29, 2007 |
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in memory of Mary and of Toby our son
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Very early in the second century of the Christian era, Ts'ai Lun, a mandarin at the Imperia Court of China, announced the invention of paper.
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A new edition of this now classic work is long overdue, and, with the filmsetting revolution almost complete, it has been possible to write it.  The processes and methods of a book production are of course still changing at a rapid rate, but the old principle of good and workmanlike design and production are still (perhaps more than ever) in need of explanation and justification. Ever since its first edition in 1956, this book has been a basic tool for the practicing book designer.  It is also a readable, lively, and authoritative description of the various processes and principles that together determine the physical characteristics of the finished book--not only its appearance, but its clarity of presentation, its tendency to lie flat when open, and its ability to endure the stresses of use and storage. The methods suggested to the book designer include an analytical and critical approach to the history of the printed edition and to the industrial techniques by which books are made today.  Different aspects of book design are treated in turn, in such a way that the designer of almost any kind of book can select those topics that refer to his immediate task. 

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