Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's not just about the margins, man.

Let's talk about the margins is about far more and is about the things I need to think more deeply about.  I'm the type to finish the text, the ideas, then let it go.  Often, this means I haven't proofed the text.  Spell-check gets a lot but when I'm typing quickly, their are a few airs that spell-check won't catch.

On a recent text science book I wrote*,  I had set the margins in Google Docs but the printer probably used Word.  Whatever, I had left underscores for students to fill words in and this happened _________
Ah, anyway, back to the 'margins' article.
Reach for a book. The dedication and earnestness of those who made it is revealed immediately in the margins. If the margins feel questionable, be suspicious. Other corners were likely cut. All authors should have a Margin Clause in their contracts. Objection, your honor. Never be fooled by a fancy cover. Always remember: Covers are just there to protect pages with beautiful margins.

The layout of this essay will change in time. If we return to in a few weeks or months or years, the margins will be different, the block quote styling a darker grey, the headers a new font. We will read it on new devices, bigger and smaller phablets, goggles, contact lenses, windshields. Nothing is fixed.
Do not dismiss the fixed page. Margins on the screen are necessary, but margins on paper have the power to affect.

Fifty per cent of the character and integrity of a printed page lies in its letterforms.Much of the other fifty per cent resides in its margins, says Bringhurst.
Yes, look here — perfect dictionary paper sticks to the fingers but doesn’t stick to the other pages, says the Dictionary Man.
Make an object that lives forever, says our ghost of George Nakashima.
WE WILL TRY HARDER, says the Paper Man.
I'm a content over style man but the style isn't nothing and I really need to work on the finishing touches.
*16 or so pages and mostly a guideline for the material I would use in class.  'Book' might be overstating the product.

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