Friday, September 22, 2017

9. 18 And another final thought on translation

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy. 

I’m only human.  Sometimes I just choose a translation to fit the demands of the layout — not only to suit its tone but to actually provide me with the letters to design it with. Remember that medieval scribes loved to letter Beatus Vir because the initial B offers so much potential for design.  And all calligraphers like to encounter passages that offer us a Q, Z, or other favorite letter to work with. 
IV: 9

For instance, several translations of Song of Solomon make a comparison to "one chain," "one jewel, " one link," or "one bead" of the beloved's necklace.  These are all accurate, but I chose "one gem" because the g just looked like a natural part of the necklace.

Some other graphic reasons for choosing the translations I choose: 
That "BELOVED" in the first
line of I: 15 seems more like a
dove than "How beautiful
you are" or "Ah, you are
beautiful" from other versions. 
  • For overall length; sometimes the design wants lots of words, sometimes only a few.  
  • For emphasis; a design may highlight the end of the quotation rather than the beginning. 
  • To put a ascender or descender where I need it for decorative effect.  
  • For the word or initial it starts with.  For instance, consider: I am my beloved’s and he is mine vs My beloved is mine and I am his.   For calligraphers, I is a less interesting letter to work with than M.  

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