Offshore Studio

Design and produce a new typographic edition of an existing text. Your book should be both legible and expressive. It is a chance for you to demonstrate your traditional typographic expertise, and to experiment with purposeful rule-breaking.

I will provide a selection of primary digital texts for you to choose from. You will then intervene on your primary text with a secondary text of your own selection. Begin by setting up a traditional page grid and establishing a conventional text setting. Then think about ways to break away from it, by inserting your own typographic voice.

What does one text say about another? How does it comment upon it? Support it? Dismiss it? Extend it?

Your typographic design will be your own interpretation of the text. Think subversively, creatively, as an author and creator.

Your book will include a cover, half-title, title page, copyright, contents, page numbers, running titles, and colophon. You may include a small number of images if they are essential to your interpretation, but make sure that the typography is not overwhelmed by artwork.

The trim size is up to you. Please choose a size which makes sense for your content, typeface, margins, paper size, etc. Dimensions should be carefully considered based on Bringhurst’s section on proportion.

You should begin by setting the primary text simply. For next Wednesday, bring in many (10+) examples of some of the primary text set in spreads, neatly trimmed at full size, to pin on the wall. This first phase is an investigation into typeface choice, type size, leading, line length, and justification.

Once you have completed the initial formatting of the entire text, you will introduce the secondary text in order to subvert or amplify the work.

Consider how and when this more expressive typography emerges. Think of parts of the book that can be subverted or co-opted for your purposes. Throughout the whole project, the focus should be on type, texture, harmony or deliberate disharmony, and pacing. How can meaning be affected by all the variables you have to work with? How can you “re-author” a given text? And how can you use excellent typography to accomplish this?

︎︎︎Texts to Choose From
1. On Photography by Susan Sontag

2. Another Story or a Fisherman of the Inland Sea by Ursula K. Le Guin

3. Dear Ijeawele, Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Aichie

4. A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway
5. Democratic Vistas by Walt Whitman

6. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft

7. The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

Project Schedule [5 weeks]
Week 1  April 14 

Week 2  April 21

Week 3  April 28

Week 4  May 5

Week 5  May 12
Week 6  May 19

Week 7  May 26
Project introduced. Select text.

Trim size, type selection, grids.

First sketches of spreads. Miniature spreads to show book system.

Trial spreads, secondary text, materials, binding.

Group crit

Walkabout, final review with Cem Eskinazi

Fraser Muggeridge—Typography with Words
Jost Hotchuli and Robin Kinross—Designing Books
Robert Bringhurst—Elements of Typographic Style

Shaun Lynch—Weight of the World

Actual Source

Douglas Gordon

Natalia Oledzka—Grain of Sand Editorial