MeFi user Caduceus requests information about
Changing technologies in book design?
I’m looking for information about how new technologies have affected book design and typography.
I’m particularly interested in the affects of computers and design software, but information about how things like Print on Demand and ebooks have changed the status quo of book design would also be helpful. I’d be happy to be pointed to books, web essays, blogs, whatever information I can track down and dig through.
Kind reader Brian Winters directed Caduceus to this blog, but I don’t think there’s much here that addresses the question, since I started designing books relatively late in the digital age (around ten years ago, give or take). Most insight into such subjects around these parts comes from my more experienced visitors. So . . .
Should any of you more (or less! it’s MetaFilter!) informed persons wish to weigh in, there’s the thread. Of course, if you are, like me, too lazy to go register so that you can comment at MeFi, you’re welcome to deposit your thoughts here.
My off-the-cuff response is that book design and typography have gotten a lot worse thanks to new technology, because now anyone can teach him- or herself to do it, including schlubs like me. And that the advent of POD means that the entry fee has been lowered for the ability to mass-produce bad design. But I’m too young (at least until my birthday next week) to be a total curmudgeon, so I concede that there must certainly have been many positive effects on book design, as well—stuff that couldn’t be done before that’s now a piece of cake. Has chart design gotten better, for instance? Or only more complex?
Sorry, it’s the humidity; I’m not capable of thinking very hard today.