Thursday, July 29, 2010
Great Blunders in Typography and Design
Boss: When was this cover designed?
AD: Oh, back in the summer when you were on vacation. Why?
Boss: Well, there's a little problem with it. Who approved it?
AD: I did. I think it looks great. Big type, really puts Handke's name out there to a public that isn't aware of his status as one of the best new writers in German.
Boss: Yeah, yeah. So here I am, one of the public and I see this book in the store. I don't know Peter Handke. Do I want to buy a book titled Peter Handke?
AD: Peter Handke is the author of the book, not the title.
Boss: And I would know this how?
AD: Oops, Oh @#$%, that got right by us!
Boss: You moron, fix it in the next edition. If there is one, since I don't know why anyone would buy a book with no title. And before you say it, I don't want to hear a word about the "integrity of the design." PUT THE TITLE ON THE COVER!
I have no idea if anyone at Scribner's ever noticed that Mr. Wilson (who was, happily for him, dead when this edition was printed) spelled his first name Edmund.
Probably because the type is so big and in all caps, acting more as graphic than a word, no one did.
But if they did notice the typo and let it go anyway...what the hell, Wilson was dead and he'll never know and it is his first name not the last, and it would cost a lot of money to reprint the whole book (my copy is the 10th printing, though that doesn't mean that the cover was the same for all the printings), it isn't like we can tear off the cover and slap a new one on.
But fire the proofreader.