Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Helping the reader read

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy.
The calligrapher is responsible for helping the reader read.  That includes providing “Start here” directions.  While this passage did not need to be read strictly in order, I did follow common graphic practice by starting with the largest letters, and working from top to bottom.  
Border in Bookhand: a little too easy to read.

PROBLEM When I got to what I thought was the final draft for this design, there was still just too much text to read; equally easy to read in Bookhand, all of it competed for the reader’s attention like a three-ring circus.  It wasn't clear what to look at first.  

Border in Legende; it feels decorative at first.  
I could help my readers by at least making one verse harder to read and setting it partly at 90°, making it more likely to be read last. 

Written in Legende, a 20th-century style evocative of middle Eastern calligraphy, its swashes and flowing ligatures help it look like a decorative border. These letters and the connections between them can be stretched horizontally, letting me lengthen the the lines of text without making the letters bigger.  The blue ink and flowing lines allude to the water, fountains, wells, streams, and springs in the text.  

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