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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two examples of good book design

There's something about the design of this book that says "authoritative", "scholarly". The font is pleasing to the eye; it's not Times New Roman – anyone know what it is? There's something about the layout, the font, the stylistic restraint that lets you know that you are looking at a definitive, significant work.
Excerpt from "The City of God against the pagans" - Dyson's translation of Augustine
Augustine. "The City of God against the pagans". Translated by R. W. Dyson. Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Here's another example of good book design: the Works of Shakespeare, edited by David Bevington:
Excerpt from the Works of Shakespeare, edited by Bevington
One smart thing here is that line numbers are given only for lines with footnotes

Another nice thing is that names are given in full ("Orsino") – never abbreviated.

Has a book ever struck you as exhibiting particularly good design? Post some pics!


  • This is the kind of feeling contrast we have when comparing regular articles and academic papers written in LaTeX. The spacing+fonts+everything just looks beautiful and serious.

    You probably already know or use this tool for code documentation, but just in case you don't, take a look at Very nice concept :)

    By Blogger Fabricio, at 3/29/2009 10:24 a.m.  

  • Nice tool - thanks Fabricio!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 3/29/2009 1:11 p.m.  

  • Only the obvious - Tufte's books are very, very nicely done.

    By Blogger Thomas David Baker, at 3/29/2009 4:07 p.m.  

  • Ah yes, love Tufte's books.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 3/29/2009 6:34 p.m.  

  • I've long been a fan of Donald Knuth. Visually appealing technical books are almost impossible to find, and yet Knuth always comes through. I would inline the pic, but I'm not allowed to use <img> tags for some reason. Maybe this will work.

    By Blogger あじ, at 4/03/2009 8:39 p.m.  

  • Great pic, Aji!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/03/2009 9:24 p.m.  

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