Design By Committee / Book Project

ernst_bettler's picture

I'm working on a project about design by committee / consensus and I really need some help with it. Essentially the idea is to make a book with all the decisions about its design made within this forum. The aesthetics of the book - it's size, format, layout, typeface etc will all decided by the consensus in here.

Firstly, what do people think about the size of the book should be? And in terms of the title, I have two starting points - 'A Camel is a Horse Designed by Committee' and 'Too Many Cooks'.

I'd really appreciate any comments and suggestions on this project.

Thanks

cdavidson's picture

I don't really like the swash on the A in 'How We Cooked A Camel'.

Joshua Langman's picture

What is the translation of the Japanese text?

brianskywalker's picture

"Cook A Camel"

riccard0's picture

http://www.

is missing

JamesM's picture

> Also I got a random camel image off Google to use for the cover.
> This is perfectly legal.

Actually I doubt if this is a "fair use" situation, even if you're a student, since you are not discussing the photographer's work but instead are simply using his copyrighted image for your own, unrelated purposes.

This isn't intended as a criticism, it's just a comment, as I know this is just a hypothetical project.

dezcom's picture

@JamesM: "> Also I got a random camel image off Google to use for the cover.
> This is perfectly legal."

I think you may have missed the satire in that, James. Since this whole project is just a spoof and intended as a humorous display of all the things that go wrong with "Design by committee", I think his comment on "perfectly legal" is right on target with the rest of the thread.

JamesM's picture

> I think you may have missed the satire in that, James.

Okay, sorry if I misunderstood.

brianskywalker's picture

http://www. is missing

http://www. is superflous. Type that url without the prefix, it works.

dezcom's picture

I don't know, Brian, the Suits always get nervous when we leave out the www. Can't we at least just keep it until the VP of Customer Outeach retires?

Té Rowan's picture

You could try to ease them into it by dropping the protocol part and begin at www. Plus, nothing says "web address" like the www.

dezcom's picture

Well, I suppose I could talk him into dropping the http// part and tell him it is more chic?

brianskywalker's picture

Maybe..... But anything with a .com in it definitely says "I am a website"

Frode Bo Helland's picture

We seriously need to blind emboss the title in braille.

dezcom's picture

Then we also need to mace a photograph of the embossed braille and print it on the cover as well, so the sighted people will be able to see it ;-)

brianskywalker's picture

We seriously need to blind emboss the title in braille.

Is that in the budget?

dezcom's picture

Dude! The old guy who like, approves the budget is like, blind, like, y'know?

eliason's picture

Yeah, it might be enough just to make sure the companion website is accessible for vision-impaired visitors.
There is a companion website, right?

brianskywalker's picture

Oh. I think this is the companion website....

dezcom's picture

There was supposed to be but some dude named Craig never finished it! He, like, went to play some weird thing with stones on ice and brooms and ßhit--wtf is that about?

brianskywalker's picture

Think typophile could pass as vision-impaired accessible?

tmac's picture

"http://www. is superflous. Type that url without the prefix, it works."

I suspect the committee does not agree with this comment. If people don't type in http:// they might end up on some government network accidentally, and then we'll be faced with wikileaks IV.

I'm not even sure the audience will know they should use a computer with the URL, or that the audience will even know what computer is.

Difficulties abound.

brianskywalker's picture

You can't end up on a government network by not typing the prefix into the address bar in a browser.

I'm not even sure the audience will know they should use a computer with the URL, or that the audience will even know what computer is.

Hmm... Who is our audience...? We'll have to find one that fits the description of not knowing to use a computer with the URL, or that doesn't know what a computer is.
Maybe it would be best to add some instructions in simple English so that any layman or infant can understand. Probably should use an asterisk.
But they might mistake it as part of the URL. So we'll have to set it apart somehow.

tmac's picture

Well, I consulted with the committee and we're all quite sure if you don't type http:// there's at least a small risk of ending up on a terror watch list, or at least having a hard time renewing your passport.

What do you make of that? Is it alarmist?

tmac's picture

Skywalker,

Even on your profile page you use http:// for the sake of safe navigation.

QED

dezcom's picture

How about a compromise? We can have a Little Paperclip Guy icon you can click and it will automatically walk you through "knowing how to use the computer" with both Kanji and Latin script!

riccard0's picture

Hmm... Who is our audience...?

The committee is the committee’s audience is the committee.

dezcom's picture

Riccardo, we will have to appoint a committee to define the Committee's audience but they should be made up of the Committee's audience. We will need a focus group to do that. Looks like we will have to hire my "niece" Bambi to arrange that. ;-J

brianskywalker's picture

Skywalker,

Even on your profile page you use http:// for the sake of safe navigation.

Aha. That is only necessary on-line. Once printed it is entirely superfluous. However I found the solution:

Joshua Langman's picture

I wonder if I'm the only one who tried to use the scroll bars.

brianskywalker's picture

I didn't.

cdavidson's picture

So is this now an eBook?

mili's picture

Tricky to add UV coating to an eBook. I'd like it to be a printed book. Also a waterproof printed book can be read in a bath, but eBooks are not waterproof (or is there a waterproof reader?).

SciTechEngMath's picture

The solution to the URL ambiguity is obvious – you simply need to add clip art of a computer next to it, so that it shows that the URL is meant to be put into a computer. Maybe also prefix it with "URL:" to make sure people know it is a uniform resource locator, though. Maybe also an inviting line like "Find us on the web..." Yes, that'll definitely help this.

Oh, and I know I'm chiming in a bit late, but for my 2 cents on the text design: make sure to use historical ligatures, because the little curve joining "st" and "ct" really, really helps readability for modern eyes. And all numbers should be done with lc, italic roman numerals for that added air of class. When used with the full caps for the headings (we're using full caps for the headings, right?), the font size of the numerals should be doubled to make the lowercase letters rise to the cap height.

brianskywalker's picture

Hmm, I think you're right on the ligatures.

Maybe for the browser, so that we can appeal to a more diverse audience, we should use the Mosaic web browser.

dezcom's picture

No! No!, It must be AOL's browser.

brianskywalker's picture

Alas, you can only visit website's in AOL's network with that.

dezcom's picture

Yes, but that is what the CFO's wife always uses!

SciTechEngMath's picture

I've got a solution: we put the AOL browser on the front cover to show how friendly it is (and to keep the CFO's wife happy), then when you open it, the first thing you see is the cover is reproduced in IE6 (because that's the only other browser worth using, right?) and a big headline that says "ALSO COMPATIBLE WITH..." Full caps, bold, italic, underlined to make sure the message gets across.

dezcom's picture

:-/

brianskywalker's picture

Maybe we need to use AOL's browser for the cover, and then sport the cover reproduced in w3m on Debian Potato inside. Via xterm. :) Preferably using amiwm.

dezcom's picture

I think I can buy into that.

brianskywalker's picture

Alrighty! Unfortunately I don't have Debian Potato. However Amiwm on the latest Debian SID should look the same, considering it has hardly changed in over a decade.

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