For my final project in Advanced Typography Class, I reinterpreted the fascinating little tome The Ten Commandments of Typography / Type Heresy: Breaking the Ten Commandments of Typography by Paul Felton. As the title suggests, this book looks at the rules of “good” typography and then turns those rules on their heads in the way of experimental typographers.
For my own interpretation of these rules, I chose to theme my book as if it were a collection of pages torn from different cookbooks. Each commandment and corresponding heresy are interpreted by the same recipe, with very different-looking results.
Also, the inner pages are die-cut in a staggered way so that the commandments can be read in sequence. As the pages are the turned, the list of heresies builds up in the same way. If I reproduce the book, I would like to lay very slightly translucent pages between each spread, so that list gradually “fades out.” As it is now, I feel like the layered list distracts from the page being looked at.
This book is difficult to photograph, so I’m including the digital version of each spread (minus the cutout). Click to see them larger!
Thou shalt not apply more than
three typefaces in a document.
break the fetters imposed by the use of only
three typefaces… the lord gives fonts, so
use as many as you desire
Thou shalt lay headlines large
and at the top of the page.
let thine eyes be seduced by the hierarchy of
type… bolder fonts, even at the same size as
body copy, will attract the eye first
Thou shalt employ no other type
size than 8pt to 10pt for body copy.
do not forsake smaller or bigger sizes,
for their irregularity can make
text appear ever more alluring
Remember that a typeface that is
not legible is not truly a typeface.
be seduced into trying new and expressive
typefaces, and break free from the
security of traditional fonts
Honor thy kerning: let white space be
visually equal between characters.
treat kerning with total irreverence and
expose the devious space between letterforms
Thou shalt lay stress discreetly
upon elements within text.
entice the reader to sample the delights of
your text, for what the lord wants hidden
can be full of pleasure
Thou shalt not use only capitals
when setting vast body copy.
do not forgo the liberal use of capitals within
your text, for the geometric letterforms may
provide diabolically good outcomes
Thou shalt always align letters
and words on a baseline.
the lord designed letterforms to stand side
by side, but there is no harm in their
being lured away from each other
Thou shalt use flush-left,
ragged-right type alignment.
yield to the temptation
to align text in unusual ways
Thou shalt not make lines too short or too long.
lure the reader down unfamiliar paths
by varying the length of your text
This assignment confirms what I’ve always known – I struggle to break the rules! Though I did it technically, all the right hand pages are still pretty clean and traditional-looking. Another hurdle to overcome was using InDesign, Illustrator, AND Photoshop (for the template, type layout, and aged effects respectively) in the process of every spread. It can be done… but it requires a lot of planning. Finally, I underestimated the challenge of hand stitching all of the pages together, breaking several needles in the process! All of the exploration was fun nevertheless.