Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Art of Typesetting and Layout: A Gallery of Pages

As one who has made hundreds of booklets, pamphlets, "worship aids," prayer cards, signs, and posters over the years, I have invested a lot of time learning how to make these simple items look beautiful. Fonts, styles, images, colors, borders, ornaments are all taken into account, the moreso as the occasion is more solemn. My attitude is that of Eric Gill and others who considered nothing so pedestrian or trivial that it should not be dignified by attention to detail, care in presentation, creativity in approach, and permanence of quality. I would imagine that similar thoughts prevail among the readership of NLM.

It is therefore a special delight to be able to share with you some examples of the extremely fine typesetting work of Dom Benedict Andersen, O.S.B., of Silverstream Priory, whose "Litany for the Holy Father" I was able to present two weeks ago. Those who attended Sacra Liturgia in 2013 in Rome would have seen the remarkable black hardcover that contained the texts for all the liturgies (solemn Masses and Vespers) of the conference -- in parallel Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, German, and English translations! (A couple of pages from this book are below.) Dom Benedict's work is characterized by elegant lines, balanced elements, a judicious use of typographical variations, and, most of all, an eye for tiny details of punctuation and spacing. He truly offers us a model that can inspire our own efforts in this area.

When Dom Benedict and I were corresponding about the art of printing, he did specifically ask me to say that he is not available for commissions, as the routine work of producing materials for the monastery and for special occasions as requested by prelates is already keeping his hands quite full, and maybe overfull.

from the Sacra Liturgia 2013 book

also from Sacra Liturgia 2013

Sacra Liturgia 2013

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