Please critique this chapter design/layout

jbutterfield's picture


For personal interest more than anything else, I've started correcting one of my school books (it's full of math errors and illustrations are often placed in bizarre places, like several pages after where they're referenced in the text). While I'm at it, I thought I'd give it a typographic makeover too. Here's the first chapter that I reworked. The original is all black and white with line-art illustrations.

I would appreciate any criticisms you have about it. Areas I'm particularly not sure about are the use of old-style numbers in some places and lining numbers in others, the use of Caslon for the opening text and then switching to Warnock for the main text (I did this thinking to set opening quotes in a font that relates to the chapter, so since these quotes are more 18th and 19th century in nature, I though Caslon would be good. A chapter on GPS, for instance, might get a background picture of the Earth with a very modern font on top in white, or something like that.), the use of brown-on-light brown for the first page, and the use of Caslon for the chapter thumb markers (where each chapter's thumb marker would use the same general background/font as the first spread of the chapter).

Let me know what you think.

jbutterfield's picture

Oops, the file didn't attach. Here's a link:

jElliot AND assoc's picture

Looks good. I wouldn't switch styles for each chapter however, I'd like to see a consistent look throughout. Also, I'm not in love with the drop shadows (around the "Pretest" and thumb-tab sections). Looks good overall.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Do not indent "Had you followed…" & "The Pilot chart,…" lines in the opening.
Why 9 pt for the main text, isn't it too small ?
Be careful with the style of the illustrations and the drop shadows, you need to uniform.

jbutterfield's picture

Thanks for your comments.

I used 9 pt. to fit approx. 66 characters per line and because I was under the impression that smaller size, while less legible, is actually more readible. Do these rules not apply for the two-column format?

Thanks again.

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