Sunday, November 08, 2009

Chapbook: The Library of Babel

For Designing with Type class we were asked to make a so-called chapbook out of a few texts selected by the instructor. I chose “The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges.

The concept was to evoke the feeling of old books and libraries and to make something where the text gets to flourish on its own without distractions. It has many classical elements but they are executed according to modernist principles of assymetry, logic, organisation and lack of ornament.

Close-up of the spine; you can see what the binding looks like on the outside.

The story begins on page 5.

 In the middle is the knot where the French linen used for the pamphlet stitch is tied together.

A spread. In case you are wondering, those are footmarks to the right of the main text block.


 Close up.

The colophon.

The book is 16 pages long including cover etc. It was laser-printed on 80 lb text Cougar Natural White Smooth paper at FedEx Office and the bound using French linen. Production cost for each copy was around $5.

Design © Kári Emil Helgason, 2009

(Sorry for how mangled the pictures look, Blogger compresses them badly.)


dcm said...

I'd buy one. :-)
I really love the way the footmarks are given such substantial gravity. It says "there's something important here," instead of "you only have to look here if you're so inclined."

vegfarandi said...

Thank you! The footmarks are very much fundamental to the understanding of the text and therefore I decided that it was OK to give them a certain unexpected weight.

goblinbox said...

That's hawt. I dig the not-totally-buried footnotes.

Carsten said...

Any particular reason for the ragged margin?

vegfarandi said...

I'm not really in favour of justified type, I prefer flush left, ragged/ranged right.