Tuesday, June 5

hinted at

i read this book the first time when i was in england. graphic design was not even a sprout of a thought in my head.

reading it again after having finished a degree in technical writing and digested a lot of other junk about design and rhetoric both, it makes me wonder what i got out of it the first time.

back then the name jan tsichold meant nothing to me. art was a thing i did during church to amuse myself. ideas were just things with which to populate dreams, not currency. i must have read the book for the reason i read a lot of strange books... pure curiosity.

now that design has eaten up such a lot of my attention i was able to appreciate much more all the implications of this book. now that i've graduated from a state university myself, i also appreciate the academic atmosphere Mr. Kidd wraps his plot up with.

i remember making thoughtful notes on the bits of curriculum in the book.

1. Left to Right
2. Top to Bottom
3. Bigger than and Smaller than
4. In front of and In back of

interesting. now that i think about it, i wonder how much influence my reading of this book three years ago had on my approach to technical writing, rhetoric, and graphic design here, in the future. perhaps it laid down a bright red carpet into this different way of thinking. perhaps it romanticized design just enough that i looked up and fell into a great infatuation with it.

i don't think i like the book more or less than i did back then when i first picked it up. it is still interesting for the same reasons. its characters still spark with strange and alien sparks. its tone is just as irreverent and insightful. its title pages are just as weirdly laid out as ever.

favourite bit:
"Always remember: Limits are possibilities. That sounds like Orwell, I know. It's not--it's Patton. Formal restritions, contrary to what you might think, free you up by allowing you to concentrate on purer ideas."
~ W. Sorbeck (The Cheese Monkeys)
go read it.

{picture borrowed from Amazon, i think }

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