- The idea of a book evolved through the need for information communication, and this usually involved the important role of the reader. An important consideration that continues to be made by a book designer therefore is the reading manner, which can take many forms, and is intended to enhance the reader’s experience of a text. There are two main communication methods in book design that are being utilised for this purpose, these being digital and traditional media. This study will explore both forms in some depth in order to address contemporary issues in book design and to seek to fulfil the reader’s needs.
- The Authentic, the Mass-Produced, and the In-Between
There are mainly two distinct types of books: on one side there is the book that is objectively made for mass-distribution; and on the other the book that is made as a conceptual one-off piece.
The mass-produced book’s main aim is to be sold or delivered to the greatest number of people possible. To do this it needs to have a specific audience and a good marketing strategy. The marketing strategy might affect how the book will be designed. A mass-produced book should be cheap, hence lower production costs are a necessity. To keep this production cost to a minimum, designers opt for existing and low-cost technology.
These types of books are the most common you can find on a bookshelf, and if placed on a bookstore shelf, they need to compete with other similartitles. Thus, a focus on the main selling point of a book – the book cover – is prominent. Paperbacks are the main type of books that fall in this region. These books usually contain writings and literature. These books are considered some of the simplest books to physically produce, not because they are of lower quality, but because their content – or text for reading – made them so.
On the other extreme side, there is the single conceptual one-off piece.These books are the pinnacles of book design. They often step in the art section because of the way they are done, and since design follows art it tends to show us where the bookmaking industry is heading. These books are mainly made for conceptual reasons, ranging from prototypes to artists’ books. They are unique in their own right and tend to be more liberal, adventurous, and playful, in both their design and content. This shift in content and design creates a visually stimulating engagement with the reader, which makes it far more effective in projecting its content from other traditional print media.
These one-off prints tend to be of a much higher production cost than their mass-produced counterparts, but their value in research and new outlooks on book design may change the whole idea of a book and how it is made.
There is no right or wrong way of dealing with the design of a book. Most books find a balance between these two extremes. For example, a book needs to go into mass production, but to sell out it needs to have that extra something that sets it apart from its competition.
- Exploring the Book as a Product
A book can be seen and appreciated in many ways. Living books do not exist in a vacuum, they have a life of their own. With contact, they can affect a reader with their form and content. A book can be studied and evaluated in 3 main aspects: the material, form, and process in which it was constructed; the organisational elements of the content; and most importantly, the impact it has on the time and society in which it exists.
- Book Form: A Brief History
Writings and stories in ancient times required to be preserved for future generations. The very first portable material used to hold text were clay tablets, found in Mesopotamia. Text (or images) was marked on moist clay which was then fired to get dried. Clay is an everlasting material but takes too much space, is brittle, and is heavy to carry around.
Papyrus was the next major invention. Made out of marrow from stems, it was a flexible material which could be rolled up. Because it was a very precious material, it was used only by the rich and elite people of the Egyptian society. Papyrus scrolls were usually made up using numerous sheets pasted together forming a long sheet. Papyrus was eventually replaced by parchment, a material made out of animal skin.
The form of the scroll eventually evolved into the Codex. The Codex introduced page numbers, contents pages, and the ability to bookmark the pages. Also, the new format helps the medium stay flat on a table. The Codex originated from an unrolled version of the scroll. Eventually scrolls werefolded into an accordion format, making it look like a traditional book.
Illuminated manuscripts emerged in the 4th century. Manuscripts, from Latin, means “hand-written”. It was speculated that the manuscript form derived from the Codex, and happened as a means of separating Hebrew scrolls from Christian text. Although the illuminated manuscripts were made for spiritual meaning and a meditational process for monks, by 1423 the first known printed cover was produced.
- Gutenberg’s Movable Type
What made books mainstream? What was needed for the book to become an object for the citizen? Books in those times were made especially by crafted people; usually having specific groups of people just for the craft of binding the pages together for example. One of the most time consuming elements of the book production though is the printing of the pages. Books before used to either be filled by hand (manuscripts), or printed using woodblocks. Although woodblock printing is similar to today’s offset printing, it was very difficult to produce. For each page, a specific woodblock was needed. Each woodblock would be made entirely by hand, engraved word by word. Also, woodblocks were not very robust for a high number of printed elements.
The modern era of book making and printing was established with the invention of movable type by Johann Gutenberg in 1450. The invention consisted in the combination of three inventions, namely the printer’s ink, the type, and the press. The production of books was still expensive but the time taken to produce was drastically reduced.
The movable type’s secret was the introduction of separate characters for each letter of the alphabet. Each of the characters was then collected and arranged as though one were building a woodblock for print. The characters could be used again without a lot of wasted material such as the woodblock.This introduced the craft of typeface design. Typefaces removed the individuality of the book since it became a standard. During that time therewere not many typefaces to choose from, but these created a platform where the standardization of the type became helpful for those who could not read handwriting.
During the 18th century, less expensive titles were being printed to meet the demands of a growing, literate middle class. The introduction of the steam powered printers greatly helped reach these numbers and cheaper production costs. Also, the Fourdrinier machine helped by producing paper in rolls rather than as separate sheets. The Fourdrinier was invented by Henry Fourdrinier.
The book cover became a regular feature with the help of new typefaces. Books started to become commercial and the book cover started to be given more importance because of its position on the bookshelf.
The introduction of packaging, advertising, and publishing industries fuelled the need for typefaces and graphic design as a job. The book became a carrier for new typefaces during that time and the book cover, being a package design for the book, flourished.
Note that Sans-Serif typefaces were also introduced in about this time which gave a fresh breath to book design. These typefaces were being promoted by the Futurists and Constructivists because of their futuristic and bold look, and were becoming increasingly popular by finding themselves on the book cover itself. Propaganda and manifestos fuelled the typeface industry, together with the book design itself.
Jan Tschichold’s collection of essays written between 1941 and 1975, “The Form of the Book - Essays on the morality of good design”, condemned and criticized the bad use of page design during that time. Typography was taken for granted. He produced various options for designers to create what he called perfect page ratios. In fact, Jan Tschichold was noted for the introduction of asymmetric page layouts and the prominent use of white space.
- The Contemporary Book
Today, books are not dead. They have become an art form. Limited in their forms, book designs are still evolving in both form and function. Although the book may have lessened its importance through time because of other technologies, it still is a very well respected format and constantly challenges its nature.
Nowadays, the book has become a multidisciplinary way of doing things.
All of these books have to be designed. The designers need to decide which paper, typography, and cover to use. There are many things to do, and no one way of doing them. It is like an adventure: sometimes you might get lost, sometimes you might get a good job; sometimes a book design will succeed, and sometimes fail. One must keep in mind, however, that the more elaborate the design, the less economically feasible it becomes.
Books should not be merely presented as themselves. The content is what will define them and the book should define the content. The book will form a question and you as a designer will have to find what the question is. Without this question, the book will not deliver its full potential. The book should communicate the content in a sympathetic way, but not attempt to be the content nor reinterpret it.
The question about where the designer should stop, or better, what the relation between content and decoration should be. As said before, the book’s aim is to deliver its content, thus the book becomes a functional object. There should be an awareness of the subjectivity in the content and decoration, which gives the book its individuality. Decoration should be made because it is needed, and if done, it should derive from the content itself (unless the purpose of the book is about decoration). The two should be evaluated attentively, in a balanced manner, and the result can be a greater book than ever.
- Digital vs Traditional
- The constant race between digital publishing and traditional publishing helps both mediums to evolve constantly. Digital Publishing, with all of its advantages, easily gets distracted or diverted to newer media.
The demise of traditional media on the other hand has been rumoured since the introduction of the digital age. Despite the constant conflict between the two, the book still lives, and the e-book is still looking for its natural form.
- The Book as a Sculpture
Books, being physical objects, are sculptural objects too. Readers tend to show off their collection on a dedicated section in their house or study. A library may boast its size with the books it provides. The interior design business itself promotes the use of books as part of a room. A room shows signs of life just by a collection. That collection may be a collection of music, paintings, photos, or books.
Jonathan Safran Foer takes his favourite book and shapes it to his liking, creating something completely new from a masterpiece. The book is sculptural, and continually changes as you read it. The book would not work on digital media.
A notable inspiration for this book could have been Brian Dettmer’s book sculptures, where he studies how a book, with its layers of information, can give you a general overview of what it contains when sculpted to reveal the underlying pictures. (This is an example of how art – book art, a very experimental form of art – predefines design.)
- The Book Cover
Books are traditionally stored, sold, or displayed on their side on shelves. In a book shop, only a few lucky ones are prominently displayed with their cover viewing the prospective buyer. David Pearson, a graphic designer who works on book design, decided to focus on the spine of the book because of its functionality. His work mostly consists of series designs, making the spine even more important than the cover because of its constant layout. Despite the boastfulness of e-books as a superior medium, they still mimic the traditional form from the sales and displaying point of view, for example, a wooden shelf displaying books side by side rather than stacked.
The e-book is still in its infancy but it is already showing numerous advantages over traditional book design. The main advantages of the e-book are the production and distribution of the content. Because it takes its form as digital space, e-books cost much less because of no printing. Distribution is instant and free thanks to the internet. Mistakes can be corrected easily and instantly by re-releasing another version of the book, for free. In comparison to the traditional book, it takes space, weighs, and needs to be designed and printed. Also, if there is an error in the book, it needs to be re-collected and republished.
E-books still need most of the same processes of traditional book publishing. The e-book still needs to be proofread, adjusted, edited, and produced as a finished product. The e-book facilitates a writer to self-publish without depending on a publisher. While this may mean more freedom of expression through books, its quality may not be as good. When an author chooses a publisher to deliver his book or e-book, his work gets sieved out to eliminate mistakes, and he produces a complete form of work without having the trouble of promoting his work, printing, delivering and all the things needed for a successful publication. Publishing your work in the traditional form though makes the book less prone to errors because of the rigorous testing procedures carried out by different kinds of people, namely designers, writers, and printers.
Digital publishing is looking promising but what about the current e-book reading experience?
In order to read an e-book you need a form of digital device – a computer or an e-book reader like the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad. Although numerous technological improvements are making it easier for one to read off a screen, many still prefer the physical book for its form, texture, and clarity.
E-books for now are most popular for text based books, mostly the re-release of popular traditional paperback releases. Picture based e-books are still in their infancy, but are gaining popularity especially on the Apple iPad. What the e-book devices are doing today is the mimicry of a traditional book. Some experiments though demonstrate that the iPad has more potential than simply copying what is already out there.
Atomic Antelope Ltd. released a form of e-book which they think better suits the iPad. “Alice in Wonderland” for the iPad is targeted for children. It has a storytelling aspect to it where the reader can read the story and interact with the illustrations, but it does not share any features with a traditional book. This type of storytelling has been around since the introduction of the computer, but it has never been put on a portable level such as an iPad. Other publishers still have to tinker with the iPad’s interactive power but numerous companies are already seeing a new way to interact with information differently from the form of the book.
What the book does with form and paper, the e-book can do with graphics, sound, and code. The final form may be something completely different from whatwe were used to with traditional books.
Both media have their own strengths. Digital media and traditional books can coexist without affecting each other. Just like when they said the internet will kill books, it just helped change its form.
- What is Reading?
- How do you read a book? Reading a book is the sole reason for having a book. Each book entails different forms of reading manners. Reading text is not the only way of reading. Reading a book means to decipher, absorb, and understand what the book is all about.
Reading a book requires you to interact with it. From the very first time that you look at a book, pick it from a bookshelf, open the cover, and flip the pages, you have already absorbed a lot of information from it. The size, the texture, the form and the title of the book already set you in a mood relating to what the book is about.
- Traditional Reading
The most common known action of reading is the reading of a text. The invention of the book in West Asia originated as a scroll. The form of the scroll, having a long continuous rolled sheet of paper was made that way probably by pure coincidence. Paper was a very precious material, making multiple copies impossible that time. Thus, scrolls were read a loud by a person to a group of people. The interesting thing about a scroll is that the information written on a scroll is read in a sequential manner, making it easier for the reader to read without interruption, such as when turning apage. During the Roman Empire scrolls faded away, giving way to a newer form of book that was more similar to what we have today – the Codex.
The Codex, having pages that could be turned around and written on both sides, gave rise to a more economic built to the book. Although it sacrificed the sequential access to reading, it introduced the “random access” to information. The random access to information helped the reader to find specific information on the Codex faster and in a more organised manner. Through time it became a tradition to offer a ribbon bookmark as part of the book.
The purest form of this random access type of reading element is usually found in registries and directories. Rapid and focused information is the most important aspect of this type of book. Through time, the alphanumerical hierarchy and layout design of these books became natural to all forms of data, ranging from phone books to computerised databases.
This focused system makes the book work more like a machine. It should be fast and easy to use; and standard enough to familiarise oneself with the book.
Today’s sequential access type of reading is most commonly found in mass-text applications of books, which are usually distributed in paperback format due to its low cost. Paperbacks would have worked very well as scrolls, but they would have cost much more to produce and store. Paperbacks are notable for their relatively compact design that is easy to carry around. Their counterparts – hardbacks – work basically in the same format but have a more robust binding design, often popular with serious book collectors who want an everlasting book.
Also, novels are usually divided into chapters. Chapters are helpful for two main reasons: they provide a sequenced storytelling experience as well as a more visually organised structure. The latter aspect refers to the designer’spoint of view that chapters allow a text to breathe and separate ideas for a better visual reception of the book.
In these ways chapters place such books in between the original “scroll” reading experience and the “random access” of the Codex form.
In certain cases the writing element is more important than the reading part. Back in ancient times when the monks used to make manuscripts, apart from having different copies of the manuscripts, the process was a contemplating act– meditation through writing. For the monks the book becomes a symbol of faith. It is of common knowledge that when a person writes down he remembers more. Not because he has a hard copy of the thing he wrote, but because the mind subconsciously remembers more through writing. This way, the book as a meditation process is not lost. It has merely changed strength to a physical object.
Now that the book has become a mainstream object, what is its position in writing? As a writing process, the book has little to do. The writing is a journey for the writer to “find” himself inside society or to change society. Writing is sometimes used for therapeutic reasons as well.
Scholars and artists consider their first published book as a milestone for their profession. The book as a “statement” of their studies is considered to be of such importance because of the work required to produce it. Publishing a book is no simple matter. The writing process involves backup references, studies, and the writer’s intellect to produce.
Another form of writing action is the insertion of information. This action differs from “writing” because here the book is prepared and laid out in a manner that the user is restricted by some rules. This form of books ranges from puzzle books, school work books, colouring books, to others.
Because of the high production value, students sometimes are advised to copy all the text word by word so that they learn more and have the benefit of giving the book away to future generations to use it again. In fact some of these books are not made to support hand written text because of their small spaces to enter the answers required. As mentioned in the previous point (“writing action”), you remember more when you write than when you listen.
Other uses of these kinds of books are puzzle books and colouring books. These require directly insertion of information like numbers, words, or simply colour. These books are usually cheaply produced and sold because of their lack of reusability.
- Pop-up & Sculptural
The book, being a physical object compared to virtual media, has the possibility of having tactile qualities. The textured paper, the creases, the folds, and other three-dimensional features make the book a sculpture in its own right. Its content though is usually flattened to fit on the page, and therefore the content is not sculptural as the book itself.
Numerous examples are found in children’s toy books, where the child needs to train its senses. Pop-ups, different paper and materials, holes, thicknesses, and forms make the book perfect for this kind of interaction.
It is limiting though to think that these books are just for children. Adults alike still inherit childlike qualities when viewing these elements. Pop-up elements and origami are still inspiring space scientists in their effective use of space. The book, usually designed to be a portable object, can eventually help display a new dimension emerging from an originally two-dimensional plan.
Although it may be as detailed as the featured object (or model), good design can show the essence of the idea involved, using paper (or other material) in its simple form and stripping down the object involved to its fundamental shapes.
A perfect example is found in the design concept by Olof Bruce et al. of Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” What makes this example perfect in this situation is not the detail of the modelling involved, but rather, the portrayal of a typical cityscape. (Prospective large buildings are usually studied cautiously if they find themselves in already established cityscapes – the building should enhance a cityscape and not imbalance it.)
What leads to the actual destruction of a book? When a book has lost its fundamental use, that is, fulfilling its sole purpose, the book becomes something else. The destruction of a book does not mean that the book has been physically destroyed, but it may change its purpose.
What does it mean when a book has lost its purpose? Books are made for a reason.
When a book has to be filled out or “fed” information, the book is progressively being used. Unless the fed information can be rubbed off, the book will eventually be used up. When it is used up there will be nothing else to do about it. Assuming that the book has fulfilled its use, like, for example, entertaining or teaching a person, the book has finished its task. The book dies in its form.
Can a book have further use after it has been used up? Each book has to be considered on its own. Different books have different uses albeit having the same use. One book may entertain, teach, induce boredom, induce emotion, induce creativity, and much more. The progress of all these can be shown on the book. Therefore, a book may change its use from actual teaching and entertaining, to featuring the progression of a person during the filling up of the book. Diaries change from helping a person keep track of his appointments to showing other people how the user passed his year. Journals and sketchbooks change from inducing reason, knowledge and creativity, to teaching others what that person has learned.
In other situations, the book is merely disposed of and recycled into another form.
Can the destruction of a book become the reading element? Ripping pages off, scribbling, adding pages, adding notes and doodles, and changing the form of a book, alters its use. Another level of this destruction involves destroying pages to obtain information. This destruction usually only happens once because a book can only be destroyed once; but this asks the readers for his full attention by engaging the reader directly with the formation of the book.
These types of books are not very cost effective because of their production costs and the disposability of the books being a luxury, but they can be committed to low cost paper and binding, and on smaller scales.
Some of the books ask the reader to do certain things. Instructional books are usually divided into steps. Each step asks you to do one specific thing. Without fulfilling what each step asks you to do, you cannot continue to the next step. Some basic forms of instructional books range from recipe books to assembly guides and maps.
Quest books can be compared to a journey. In order to arrive from point A to point D you have to pass through points B and C (assuming that there are no shortcuts).
“Holes, Huts, and Hiding” is a series of books found only at the Stockholm Public Library amongst 500,000 other books. These books are hollow and each contains keys and maps to their designed locks. These keys provide a public adventure to various parts of the city’s underworld and infrastructure instead of simply giving out tour guides. These books provide a real sense of adventure, usually only found in fictional adventure stories.
- TimeTime in book design involves the reader waiting to obtain his knowledge from the book. Certain actions carried out during one’s interaction with a book may take time. Using time as an element helps the reader pace himself in his interaction with the book. In the same way as a couple take time to prepare themselves for the arrival of a child during the 9 months of pregnancy, time can also give a totally different perspective to the reading experience.
“Well done” is a side-book created as part of an annual report for a food company. The book contains recipes and secrets to various meals. In order to not reveal the secret directly, the reader has to literally wrap the book in aluminium foil and bake it at 100ºC for 25 minutes. This was made possible with special invisible thermo-reactive ink. If done right, the empty pages will become filled with text, and the illustrations with empty plates filled with food. If done wrong, the booklet will burn.
Each book is a different scenario. There is no one exact way of developing a book because each book has different content to transmit.
- Reading for different age groups and social positions
- Through time, the design of books evolved mainly in 2 different aspects: technology and society. The former, technology, provides the means for a book to be produced in its form, content, and price; and the latter, society, provides the theme, subject, and content for the book.
These 2 aspects move hand in hand together to form the book, usually creating a definition of society itself. The cultural aspect of a book defines a society by means of the book’s method of collecting and keeping track of everything happening around it.
What is powerful about a book though is that it can change a society with the information it carries. The book started to be of great importance during times when printing became feasible to produce in large numbers. With an emerging middle class during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, printing became a major pillar in the development of society.
The ground breaking introduction of “Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers” (1751-65) (or, “Complete encyclopedia or dictionary of science, arts, and crafts) described and illustrated most of the trades and their secrets of that time. The art critic and philosopher Denis Diderot’s aim was to produce an account of trade processes for future generations. Although only 15% of the population in that era could read, the book became a best seller.
With the introduction of such books, many publishers started to republish old works mostly from manuscripts for the amateur part of the society who needed manuals on certain materials, manufacturing processes, or skills. Cheaper printing and hand-coloured engravings could teach the middle class to easily make bread, hats, wine, sugar, cloth, glass, and other numerous objects with the help of illustrated diagrams. The book stopped being a novelty, and became a major source of education for the society.
In today’s society, though, things have changed. Lower class people are usually uninterested in reading and are left uneducated by books. What if you provide them with books that are easy and interesting for them to read? Different people have different needs, and no single book can fulfil their various requirements.
- Attracting the Unattracted
The culture of reading books should be nurtured from childhood. Creating books for those who can’t read, or better, don’t want to read, creates a challenge for book design. Knowing how to read nowadays has become a compulsory thing, yet the appetite for reading can be lacking. With good design one can be urged on to reading a book. Being a child or an adult, reading should be fun, easy, and instructive.
For all those who don’t want to read, books should be designed in a way to help them read. Enlarging the font sizes for visually impaired people, or simply using an interactive approach are a few of the endless possibilities.
Visually impaired people already have Braille as their language. This is possible only because of their sense of touch. What if you use textures other than Braille? What if these books would engage these people with the rest of their senses? Sound and smell can already enhance the possibilities of a more interesting book. (Taste was neglected because it is not hygienic to taste your book).
- The Language Question
Different societies have different needs. Malta, for example, is having trouble solving problems with bilingualism. Bilingualism in Malta is not just a matter of having Maltese and English as languages; in Malta it has become a way to divide the country between those who use Maltese as their main language and those who use English. Eliminating the Maltese language because of its limitations is not the best of options. Malta is not living in a vacuum. What language should be used in a bilingual country? What language should be given prominence and priority on the displayed page? Should Maltese be the first language to show up or should it be English?
“The Best of Wim T. Schippers” is a book that can easily be an inspiration for solving this phenomenon. Having Dutch origins, the author, Harry Ruhé, decided to overlay his text in 2 languages, Dutch and English.Using an optical illusion with the help of Schnippers panache, the text could be read accordingly with the help of coloured transparent sheets. While it may not be the best possible solution for long reading texts, the overlay effect gives the text a distinctive look, makes efficient use of space of the page, solves the bilingual problem, and renders the reading experience a creative and playful one.
- Book on a Budget
Creating the perfect book for every situation requires a lot of money to invest in research and production. But what happens when the cost of the book becomes one of the main factors in deciding whether the book should be produced or not? People usually opt for leaflets and brochures to promote their thing. What if they use a book? The book should cost little to produce to reach a wider audience with lower expenses.
Many independent artists and writers often tend to opt for the DIY approach. Printing and binding your own book is not easy but you have full creative control over how the object will look and feel. It would also come cheaper, has a distinctive look, and it gives you pride in having produced something yourself from start to finish.
The artist by the name of Heuberger produced this rudimentary book out of 1 folded sheet of A2 paper. This was possible with the use of silk-screenprinting in which he printed all of the pages at once and then folding it by hand.
Although these kinds of simple book designs are very handmade friendly, producing this book by machine is even faster but will reduce its value. The same principle of hand made goods that happened during the Industrial age by William Morris applies here. Handmade objects can have an edge on other industrialized goods; for example, a handbound book is usually of better quality as well as being authentic.
Having a leaflet in the form of a book rather than a piece of folded paper increases its effectiveness because of its already friendly book form.
- Children’s Books
One of the most challenging aspects of book design is the creation of a book for children. As Bruno Munari says: “Knowing children is like knowing cats. Anyone who doesn’t like cats will not like children or understand them.” Understanding a child’s psychology is the most important aspect of creating the book.
Age alone plays an important factor in creating the book. Children make dramatic changes in little to no time. A good book needs to cater for this change. A 2-year-old will start showing interest in the pictures of a story book. A little later, the child will start noticing the story itself.
Children will notice things like the colours of the pictures, the smell of the book, and other little details. They will not understand certain aspects of the story like love and hate until they are grown up. Also, they will not understand certain marketing and production concepts such as special editions, elegant printing, expensive books, and messy drawings. On the other hand, though, children want detailed illustrations, a very simple story, and visual surprises (Easter eggs) that engage the child due to their high observation skills.
Who does actually use the book then? It is called the “children’s book” because it is aimed at the children but parents are a substantial part of the book as well. The parents are the people who buy and read the book to their children. Therefore, the main aspects of the book – such as visuals and storyline – should be first targeted towards the parents, and then the children.
This form of target audience for creating books can be seen with many children’s animation films, where many aspects and dialogues of the story are usually aimed at the parents because of their presence while taking their children to the cinema.
- As outlined in this study, book design has come a long way. We have also seen that despite the heavy dependence on digitalization in contemporary communication, the role of the traditional book cannot be underestimated. Books have different functions in relation to the demands of the consumer or reader. They are able to fulfil educational and entertainment roles within society. We also acknowledge that books are being shaped by the various social requirements while they themselves shape the thoughts of those who create them. Being under constant development, books can, and will, never settle on one form. The fact that they continue to evolve reflects an important aspect of the nature of book design – that it is, ultimately, an art form with unlimited potential.
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