Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In Which I Am Displeased With Type ...

Although I'm grooving on the writing and references in How to Eat Supper and, well, on pretty much all of the info included ... wow, is the type design terrible!

I try not to be too picky but it is clear that someone was encouraged to "have fun, be playful" and all those other little expressions that have to be done gently, gently in order to be well done.

Bright red pages with little black type ... tough to read.

Stories that abruptly plunge into teeny, tiny type. Ouch.

A kajillion differing typefaces and styles all jumbled together.

Tags labeling valuable reference books being quoted that are clearly copied after "tag clouds" from the internet and ... it doesn't work in a book.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I know that trends come and go, but I have seen this one creeping back into style, especially in food books ... it is not welcome. Food books are essentially technical manuals and to junk them up in such a way that reading them is a chore is to do a grave disservice to the writing. It is almost as if the designer was trying to distract from the writing. Or as if they only know how to lay out fun advertising. However, a book is not an ad.

To see a well done version of this, check out A Tale of 12 Kitchens. A fun, playful layout ... but done with restraint, letting the writing carry the book. But, then, that was done by an artist for his own work. Not by someone hired for the job who doesn't love food writing ... or at least that is the impression one gets from the book.

Update ... Two Things
First, I forgot that I had done a review, albeit a brief one, of Twelve Kitchens.

Second, Jake Tilson made my day by commenting on this post. (Yes, it takes only a celebrity comment to make my day. Sad. But true.)

No comments: