Designers working on the web can still learn from the history of print. To try and help bridge this gap—and to better understand it myself—I designed a sample issue of webty.pe: A Journal of Typography & the Screen.
It pairs one seminal essay on typography, with a corresponding contemporary article on theweb.
The structure of the publication paired classic articles on graphic design and typography with new ways of thinking about those same ideas on the web. For example, Words-in-Freedom, discussing the Futurists’ approach to typography, was set alongside Michael Bierut look at Vladmir Nabokov’s work as a precursor to hypertext links on theweb.
Destruction of Syntax—Imagination without strings—Words-in-Freedom was paired with
Vladmir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext
Towards a Universal Type was paired with
A Dao of Web Design
The Crystal Goblet, or printing should be invisible was paired with
More Meaningful Typography
New Life in Print was paired with two shorter pieces,
The Form of the Book: A call for book designers to migrate to the screen and
A Richer Canvas
These four sections were intentionally ordered to work their way out from content tocontainer.
I also designed the webty-dot-pe wordmark for the publication. It sets tone of the publication by using a typographic ornament, more commonly seen in historical book design, as a dot in the URL. The use of typographic ornaments continues on the title pages of the ebook and 80-page printjournal.
Designing publications in an .epub format requires understanding the environment—which there are many. Instead, subtle ways to introduce the publications’ identity must be used. While this is often cited as a limitation of the format, these constraints are also anopportunity.
I went onto design another publication for print and .epubs using a similar approach, and open sourced thecode.