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

Tomi from Suomi's picture

This should be fun…

First: with "cooks" in the title is easily mistaken for a cooking book.
Second: A4 or B5 is always a good starting point, depending on the content. If it's just text, you could go with the standard pocket book B-size: 130 mm x 198 mm.

Body text and headlines set in Adobe Caslon.

This is my two cents worth.

ernst_bettler's picture

Thanks. I like the B-size (130mm x 198mm) and using cooks in the title could well lead to it being mistaken for a cooking book. That's a good point.

Do you think Adobe Caslon for the whole book? or a different typeface for titles etc?

Also, should I start with a grid?

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Well, Adobe Caslon is an excellent typeface, and since I know nothing of the content, that typeface is safe pick. And Adobe Caslon works really well in large sizes, so why not.

With a relatively small book, you should look at margins: you need to have room for fingers holding the book, so you could go with page numbering on top, and some 20 mm on top and outsides. Binding determines the inside margin: pocket book-style glue bind needs more than traditional binding, which opens more.

Or you could go with traditional Golden Section. All time classic.

tmac's picture

I would like this book to be the B-size (130x198), yet it should also maintain the size of a broadsheet. It should be a tiny book that fits within a locket.

It should be waterproof.

The type should be large and dark and light and very small. Maybe a little of each.

Lets use a great many photographs except that photographs are too specifiying in their nature, so the photographs, the great many of them, should be illustrated and vague. The illustrator should be drawing out-of-focus. The lines should be sharp and crisp.

If we have a photograph of a woman, perhaps that will exclude the men. So lets make the photograph of a woman a drawing of a gender-neutral stick figure. Give the gender-neutral stick some curves and a purse and long dangling tresses. Let it practice weight-lifting in an all-male gym.

It should be a lavish book featuring die-cuts and varnishes and foil stamps, and it should be affordable and nearly without cost to produce. Take Marian's "I Wonder," and the 7th Day Adventist's watchtower as influences.

The tone should be a light comedic thunderous proclamation.

The title should have the word "Cooks" in it, but without any reference to what happens in a kitchen.

(Thank you for letting me vent a little.)

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I think the rear cover page should extend beyond the rest of the book (to the right and down) and have a drop shadow printed on it.

JamesM's picture

If designed by committee, a consensus wouldn't be reached on the title and it would be called:

"A Camel is a Horse Designed by Committee; or Too Many Cooks"

The cover could show a bunch of cooks riding a camel.

(Incidentally, having 2 titles is not unknown in the book world; for example "Hans Brinker; or The Silver Skates" and "The Hobbit, or There and Back Again").

eliason's picture

I think the rear cover page should extend beyond the rest of the book (to the right and down) and have a drop shadow printed on it.

+1

dezcom's picture

"design by committee"
Good luck with that--'nuff said.

rynblckbrn's picture

Going with the "design by committee" theme, I think it'd be nice to include
your least favorite dace (Curlz MT, Hobo, Bleeding Cowboys, etc.) and include
an article describing ONLY reasons why that face is successful, while leaving
out anything that would resemble a negative comment.

Additionally, include a mark or identity that's terrible and follow the same
procedure.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

No, no, people-

It should be set in Caslon 14/16 pts. throughout, and cooks should not be mentioned on the title. It should be: "Needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision". But the size should not be B-size (130x198), but A4 wide (297x210), with three (3) columns per (/) page.

Mugford's picture

We'll never reach consensus until a committee chairperson with absolute executive power is elected. I nominate myself. My platform for election consists of the following policies:

--The title shall be "Mugford Designs a Camel; or How We Cooked a Camel [NOT A COOKBOOK]"

--Titles will be in Adobe Chaparral Pro Caption 24/28, and captions shall be in Adobe Chaparral Pro Light Display 6 set solid.

--Text will be set in ______ [to be determined later, but let's not fool ourselves, it'll probably be Caslon]

--Page numbers shall be in 7-pt. Curlz Bold Italic.

--The book will be printed letterpress, with an extra-deep impression on both sides because that is what is fashionable these days.

--Paper shall be 8.5"x11", cut out of brown paper shopping bags with pinking shears for that jagged look that will be so popular with groupspeak researchers five years from now, then bound using the Japanese stab technique. A "recycled" icon shall be embossed on every page.

--Since Curlz and Chaparral are for some reason not available in lead type, you will need to start punchcutting lessons ASAP. I have cornered the market on antimony so you will need to start fundraising too.

--No photo-polymer plates can be used - that's "cheating".

--The book will contain no photos, except of members of this committee. These photos will actually be woodcuts.

--To appeal to an international audience, every third page should be printed with text running right-to-left.

--I like the idea of the book fitting inside a locket. A subcommittee shall be formed to investigate the practial upper limits of locket size. Perhaps the book can be placed inside a gigantic clock hung around the neck like Flavor Flav - a "clocket," as it were. Discuss.

--If we are unable to source a large enough drop-shadow-back-cover, then the last page of every chapter should be a slightly larger drop shadow page, cut with slightly larger-toothed pinking shears from a slightly darker color of paper bag.

--No ligatures may be used, with the exception of the "Th" ligature. Also, Phaeton catchwords shall be used for all instances of "the," "and," and "of," unless "The" is at the beginning of a sentence, in which case the Caslon "Th" ligature shall be followed by a Phaeton "e".

--Swashes everywhere!

Please support my campaign for chairperson.

Mugford's picture

Seriously though: B-size, Caslon, golden section, let's print this baby.

I really think Curlz page numbers is a great idea though. Think it over.

tmac's picture

Is the Phaeton "e" a type of autorickshaw? If so, then: YES.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

I can go with Curlz for page numbering, if it's set in Pantone Matching System (PMS) 8063. That's a lovely pink. But EVERYTHING ELSE must be Caslon.

The title should include "THIS IS NOT A COOKBOOK".

Ligatures are fine by me; excluding "Th".

P.S. I should be the chairperson.

eliason's picture

Caslon and Curlz are good, but Bram de Does makes a mean dash. I'm going to have to insist we license Trinité for hyphens and Lexicon for emdashes.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I'm glad to see my drop shadow gain momentum.

garyw's picture

I think the book cover needs some zazz. Can we emboss or die cut something? You guys decide how to do it. I'm just not going to settle for something boring. If you want more good ideas from me take me to lunch or something.

PabloImpallari's picture

jaja... funny

cdavidson's picture

Sans-serifs are all the rage. I suggest setting the title in Arial Bold. It's a sans-serif, meaning it looks quite retro, and will make the designer appear as though they are throwing out all of these "modern" design trends and showing the world what design should be.

JoergGustafs's picture

I suggest to create a custom typeface that combines Caslon (top part, as it was the first font suggestion) with Arial Black (lower part, not so bad after all, available for free and at least quite dark on the page). Cover: b/w pics of a cooking pot, top view, broth spilled all over it. You can tone the broth by adding a green layer in photoshop and select ‘multiply’! In order to avoid misunderstandings, heads with toques on it should be poking out of the broth. Make sure that the (transparent) text overlaps the randomly arranged pictures. Also, I’d opt for spot UV varnish on the green broth.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

No, I think Caslon is out by popular demand, but Arial Bold is NOT the right alternative. We should go with IKEA, and make our OWN version of Verdana. As close to IKEA-version, as possible, because that is JUST BRILLIANT!!!

I'm no too sure about that cooking pot, but that spot UV varnish is UTTERLY BRILLIANT!!! And embossing and die cut as well. And I really like green. And drop shadows!!!

We still have no title for this book, even though my suggestion has had HUGE following.

Té Rowan's picture

Painting the bike shed, indeed... *snickers*

My tuppenn'orth: Rundfunk for the book title. Front image: A bunch of cooks fussing over a camel, done in max. four colours.

Joshua Langman's picture

The cover should, of course, be printed in four-color process, but to keep the budget down and save ink, it has to be three-color process. And one of the colors has to be yellow, as it's being used for all the subheads anyway.

Seriously, though, I'm very interested in seeing how this turns out. Do you intend to publish it? Who will write the text?

ernst_bettler's picture

I've knocked together a cover and sample spread taking into account people ideas on the forum. I don't have Curlz for the numbers so i've used Verdana and the body text and title are in Adobe Caslon. What do people think? What should be changed?

http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i350/ernst_bettler/How%20We%20Cooked...

http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i350/ernst_bettler/How%20We%20Cooked...

I've also put the InDesign file on MediaFire so people can edit the actual file if they want. The link for the the file is: http://www.mediafire.com/?5rpec6l1lem4zq6

Frode Bo Helland's picture

You should just print this thread as the content.

Té Rowan's picture

Aye.

brianskywalker's picture

I think the rear cover page should extend beyond the rest of the book (to the right and down) and have a drop shadow printed on it.

Yes.

I suggest to create a custom typeface that combines Caslon (top part, as it was the first font suggestion) with Arial Black (lower part, not so bad after all, available for free and at least quite dark on the page).

Yes.

Titles will be in Adobe Chaparral Pro Caption 24/28, and captions shall be in Adobe Chaparral Pro Light Display 6 set solid.

I agree.

You should just print this thread as the content.

For sure.

I propose that the illustrations be the user icon for each typophile who contributed. They should be blurred and with an added vignette. If desired, the typophiles can provide an alternate or higher resolution picture for themselves.

Also make sure to include a large photo of Pablo Impallari shirtless.

Also I think there should be a lot of decoration on the pages.

But the size should not be B-size (130x198), but A4 wide (297x210), with three (3) columns per (/) page.

How about B-size wide with three columns?

Joshua Langman's picture

Ernst —

I accepted your invitation to alter your files. Here is the layout with some text from this thread.

http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd438/jlangman/camelsample.jpg

It's just a basic design, although something that interprets each of the suggestions more literally could be lots of fun . . .

(I'm not familiar with mediafire, but I can send you the ID file somehow if you want it.)

I think using the text of this thread is a fabulous idea. What do you think?

Josh

ernst_bettler's picture

Thanks for your edited layout Josh. Using the text of this thread is a great idea. Perhaps we just need more content for the book. To flesh it out, as it were.

And what do you think would be the best way to bring all these ideas together into one book?

ernst_bettler's picture

The way the thread plays out is almost works like a script. Maybe each person could have their own typeface?

ernst_bettler's picture

Also, can we come to a group decision about what the cover should look like?

tmac's picture

In the spirit of the committee I'm pretty sure we'll know if the cover is right when we see it, and it is right. But not before that time.

This thread makes alright copy for a preface. Maybe the main text should be done as an exquisite corpse. Someone needs to make a website allowing for the construction of exquisite corpses.

brianskywalker's picture

Josh's edit to the spreads look fantastic. Although, the captions need to be in Adobe Chaparral Pro Light Display 6 set solid. This is very important for the look of the book and for legibility. Also, someone still needs to try making the page numbers in a different font. Curlz MT was suggested earlier, but I think that font may be much too childish. We need to try something by Ale Paul.

I think the cover as we currently have it has nothing of interest. Perhaps the cover should have all of the committee's user icons, either arranged in a grid fashion, or haphazardly. Thoughts?

The color also needs work. Yellow works for fontshop, but we're trying to make a classy book here. I think we'll all agree that blue with green and white text will work best. Also I think that Caslon works great for the text, but the cover needs something else. Alrt Text anyone?

The binding and paper choices. tmac suggested it be waterproof. Typophiles are notorious for doing things near water. The paper should be waterproof, and if the text doesn't run too long, hand-stitched fishing line binding. It should come wrapped in mylar.

tmac's picture

"The paper should be waterproof, and if the text doesn't run too long, hand-stitched fishing line binding."

Wow. This is the right thing to do. Everyone likes a thing that can do two unrelated tasks -- for example, a television that produces toast, or a meat carving knife that makes a serviceable head rest. Therefore, you should be able to catch fish with this book.

brianskywalker's picture

I didn't think of being able to actually catch fish with the book! But it would be very useful! So, this book will also be a survivor's tool! The back should be die-cut with an upside-down U, and a right-side up U underneath. Then extra fishing line coming off the binding should wind over it, and have a hook on the end.

brianskywalker's picture

Like this, maybe:

It would work well, too, because we're already die-cutting the cover to make the back larger for the drop-shadow. Since it needs to be waterproof, and the cover also has to be strong for the fishing line to be coiled on it and not break, I propose plastic for the cover.

brianskywalker's picture

Who votes to make a large photo of Pablo Impallari shirtless the frontispiece?

It should, of course, have a vignette and added blurring near the edges.

ernst_bettler's picture

Hand stitch fish-line binding is do-able. How do people think this 'drop-shadow back' should / could work?

I'm going to put together some revised options for the cover and spreads up so we can resolve the final design.

brianskywalker's picture

How do people think this 'drop-shadow back' should / could work?

I can think of two ways:

1. It could be die-cut with the back larger
2. The binding could be done japanese style, with a larger sheet of paper for the back cover

cdavidson's picture

Why can't we be a bit more creative? I think this team is falling apart, you're all rubbish!

We need the first page with the publication details to be printed on edible ricepaper.

Joshua Langman's picture

And the book will also cook your dinner if you ask it nicely.

brianskywalker's picture

We need the first page with the publication details to be printed on edible ricepaper.

Although this would break the already established waterproof rule... But if it's intended to be eaten anyway, I guess it doesn't matter?

Joshua Langman's picture

Well, the book could be sold in a ricepaper wrapper. After you eat the wrapper, you can use the waterproof book inside to go fishing. Or, alternatively, you immerse the book in water to make the wrapper dissolve so you can open the book. I would definitely like to see this manufactured!

ernst_bettler's picture

http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i350/ernst_bettler/How%20We%20Cooked...

Here's another possible cover design i've put together. What do people think?

I've uploaded it to MediaFire again so people can edit the existing file again.

http://www.mediafire.com/?34zh78zsizs661x

Joshua Langman's picture

So much more interesting! I think this is a big improvement. Just a couple things:

Why green? (Although we could easily ask why about anything else associated with this project, so I suppose green is as justifiable a choice as any.)

Could you do something more evocative with the icons than arrange them in a grid? Perhaps arrange them so as to suggest a camel, etc.?

Josh

brianskywalker's picture

Here is the final cover, if approved:

I think the cover needed spicing up and added some Japanese text. Also I got a random camel image off Google to use for the cover. This is perfectly legal. (Unless it is considered camel pornography....)

Well, the book could be sold in a ricepaper wrapper. After you eat the wrapper, you can use the waterproof book inside to go fishing. Or, alternatively, you immerse the book in water to make the wrapper dissolve so you can open the book. I would definitely like to see this manufactured!

I like ricepaper idea. People could also use the ricepaper wrapper to write on if they happened to run out of paper. Also, this would match with the Japanese style open-spine binding....

In regards to the fishhook to use, I'd recommend a #11 fishhook. These are probably the most versatile for catching fish in general.

dezcom's picture

Make the logo bigger!

brianskywalker's picture

Probably the camels should have UV coating.

Who knows of some good waterproof paper?

mili's picture

The Underware boys must know about waterproof books, wasn't Sauna's specimen book printed like that? I like the UV coating idea for the camels. If the paper end up being glossy, we might consider matt coating for the beasts.

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