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Sep 13 / Katie Buddingh

Bringhurst Grand Design Part:1


Pt. 1: Typography exists to honor content.

“Typography is an art that can be deliberately misused”

In order to draw in the reader, type needs to look attractive. It needs to be loud and important enough to grab the attention of the reader. However, once the attention is grabbed, the reader must be able to look past the design and read the content. It is to look nice as well as convey a message.


Pt. 2: Letters have a life and dignity of their own.

Typography is idealized writing.

The computers are designed to create beautiful letters when the hand can’t.


Pt. 3: There is a style beyond style.

“Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition: an essential act of interpretation, full of endless opportunities for insight of obtuseness.”

Typography affects emotion and evokes feeling.



Pt. 1: Read the text before designing it.

Your task is to interpret what the text is saying by how the text appears. If you don’t know what is trying to be communicated, how will you effectively be able to communicate it.


Pt. 2: Discover the outer logic of the typography in the inner logic of the text.

Analyze and map the text after understanding it.


Pt. 3: Make the visible relationship between the text and other elements (photographs, captions, table, diagrams, notes) a reflection of their real relationship.

When you have these elements combined with text, deciding where you put them is nearly as important as the text itself.


Pt. 4: Choose a typeface or a group of faces that will honor the character of the text.

“Choose and use the type with sensitivity and intelligence.”

If you choose more than one typeface, make sure they go well together. Think of them as personalities.


Pt. 5: Shape the page and frame the textbook so that it honors and reveals every element, every relationship between elements, and every logical nuance of the text.

Select shape of page then place the type – much like framing and hanging a painting.


Pt. 6: Give full typographic attention even to incidental details.

Everything in the book should flow together and appear cohesive.



– Invite the reader into the text.

– Reveal the tenor and meaning.

– Clarify the structure and order.

– Link the text with other existing elements.

– Include a state of energetic repose, which is the ideal condition for reading.

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