Moments in the making of The Colours of Rome.

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Designing the opening

 I take a large sheet of paper and cut it down to the size of an opening of the intended book, i.e. two pages next to each other. The proportions of the page are 5::7, which is very close to 1::1.414 (the ISO standard used in the A series of paper sizes). I then use a standard construction to determine where on that opening the text blocks will lie. It involves just a ruler and gives pleasing proportions to the text blocks and margins. From that I read off the width of the text block and adjust it to a whole number of ems to give the measure. Then, knowing the type-size (14pt in this case) and the leading I plan (3pt), I can reckon how many lines will make up a text block of the indicated height.

The Colours of Rome is very similar in size to that of The Bricks of Venice and the type – 14pt Dante – is the same as we used in Palladio’s Homes. This picture of Villard's construction is taken from Jan Tschichold's The Form of the Book.

Copyright © Martyn Ould 2013.