Our first substantial project in Typography One was to set Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle. I had a similar idea before we were assigned this project— as a way to learn InDesign I would set an obscure book and possibly self publish. In some ways I am relieved that this project beat me to the punch. For one thing, my plan was to do this in June, and since I had not started it by the time it was assigned in September, my grades were an obvious motivating factor. The only thing I found to be un-motivating was the subject matter. I had considered using Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities or The Cloud of Unknowing as my filler text. The Society of the Spectacle’s blithering nonsense failed to resonate with me as my curated nonsense did. Maybe I am not as much of a communist as my
classmates comrades are.
You can see this reflected in my front cover. I went for a maximal design with a dusty third edition paperback connotation. If the material was about the excesses of capitalism, my plan was to create a cover that utilized excess to its full ability. In this respect I believe I am successful.
Above you will see a classic type exercise in which young design students label the various parts of the font. Poster Bodoni and Din are an interesting combo, maybe I will use them again.
In keeping with the theme of my cover, I chose to make my spreads an excess of scale. In placing a text about efficiency, I imagine a book that wastes plentiful printing area. Perhaps this highlights the concerns of the text, perhaps it renders it impotent. The important thing is that the reader finds themselves considering the form of the typography in addition to the book claims.
I do not know if I still stand by the decision to set body copy in a monospace font. But as you can see within this book and within my website project featured later— I still like block serif fonts. No apologies!
Sometimes you have to print something to know how it truly looks. Sometimes you even have to print something, re-photograph it, and print it again in a sample book. I think a better color scheme, beyond our basic CMYK, would really finish this piece correctly.