What choices do you make when designing a book at a time when people read less and less, while the need for craftsmanship and knowledge is greater than ever? The book ‘Patterns in Nature’ asked for authenticity, wonder and tactile experience.
The starting point of my study Expert Class Book Design at the Plantin Institute of Typography in Antwerp was to design a timeless, handy and clear book. Refined, lively and inviting to browse, read the scientific and philosophical content to marvel at the universal shapes, structures and patterns in nature.
An orange line is the common thread in the book; it adds structure, color and playfulness. The four images on the cover refer to the graphic patterns and organic shapes that nature creates and which can be traced back to mathematical shapes and structures.
I have done extensive research into the typography and a suitable basic pattern, in which the varied images, graphic drawings, schemes and inspiring quotes and fragments could come into their own.
The main text reads like a novel, so I chose DTL Documenta by Frank E. Blokland. Documenta has a uniform structure with a low contrast and robust serifs. It makes for an easily readable text and it has a timeless and classic character. The header, figure numbers and subheadings are use Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk. A powerful, simple font that connects to the dark images and navigates you through the book.
The paper of the cover (Gmund Cover Natur, Papyrus) has a natural look and a fine structure, which matches the subject nicely. The color black of the endpapers (Pop’Set Black, Antalis) provides a strong contrast with the light cover, this contrast is also reflected in the interior.
The interior has an uncoated paper that feels like felt (Fuego Matt white, Papyrus).
The final results of the Expert Class Book Design of the Plantin Institute for Typography are exhibited in the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp of April 17 to June 30, 2021.