your thoughts on this sample (typesetting poetry)

omeld's picture

Hello, I'd be very pleased to know your oppinions on this sample. It's an example for a book of poetry and also my fist try at it. I've filled in the recto page with some placeholder text just to get a feel for the actual text-block, since the poems themselves are centered. I wouldn't choose Perpetua for prose, but I think it really does let poetry breathe.

Please, do tell me what you all think.



sample.pdf38.06 KB
omeld's picture

Also, there is another question implied: does it make sense to have margins for poetry set up so the outer margin is, as is usual, the largest? I'm aware of an example mentioned by Bringhurst where this is not the case, but there's unsifficient information regarding the actual way the poetry was set there. For if I set it centered as in my example above, the margins are in fact only imaginary (unless the lines were so long they would actually touch them on both sides). I was wondering whether larger outer margins were thus in fact causing a slight visual distraction, since they force the centered content to be visibly off-center with regards to the page as a whole.

Quincunx's picture

> does it make sense to have margins for poetry set up so the outer margin is, as is usual, the largest?

I design and typeset alot of poetry books. And to that question I would have to say no; I usually make the pages the same. I.e. left page largest margin on the outside, right page largest margin on the inside. I do this because poems only have a straight left edge. Personally I think it looks best this way.

In your example, I don't really like the fact that the poem is centered. I would probably make the left margin something like 30 to 35 mm. I just think it sits on the page more naturally that way.

Also, about the right page text block, is the book going to contain both text blocks like that and poetry?

omeld's picture

No, only poetry; I included the recto just to get a feel for the textblock. As for the centering, I've always been a fan of that. What I dislike the most are pages that are empty in a bad way -- like a single line of text in the upper left corner that just doesn't make any sense. There is, in my oppinion, a difference between emptiness and breathing space. I was trying to achieve a balance between the two.

Thank you for your input!

AtoZ's picture

If you are going to center the poem titles, they need to be indiviudally, optically centered over each poem. Finding the optical center from some poems (especially ones that have only one or two lines longer than the others) can be a challenge. Setting the poem title flush left with the poen text obviously avoids the extra work.
         When going from A to Z,
         I often end up At Oz.

Syndicate content Syndicate content