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Bruce Rogers and Proportion in printing

25/04/2011

Bruce Rogers was an American type designer, known still for Centaur. This quote comes from Paragraphs on Printing (1979, Dover Publications reprint from the limited edition large paper edition first published in 1943). Its advice is as relevant today as it was then.

“As in architecture, and in many other arts, the most important element of beauty in bookmaking is PROPORTION: that is, proportion of type to page, proportion of leading and spacing to type, proportion of page of paper, proportion of margins to each other – it pervades the whole process. You may take the most beautiful type in your stock, and if it be carelessly set, if it be too large or too small for the page, or the page badly placed on the paper, then no beauty of type or paper will compensate for any one of these violations of proportion. On the other hand, if all these elements be in proper relation to each other, then even somewhat mediocre type and paper will make, if decently printed, not a masterpiece of printing, perhaps, but at least a pleasant book.”

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