|Howard Sounes, HarperCollins, 2010|
|Inside cover, half title page, 'also by', and title page.|
|Imprint, contents, contents cont., and first section marker.|
Now this is where the book gets really interesting. As you can see on the right here, a nice 1 is in a circle (a continuing theme), the chapter title and A heading are in the same typeface as the title, as is the B heading in the second picture (The Quarry Men). Each of these elements are great, easy to read and distinguished for the reader to follow along. But the body text, oh the body text. It's in the same sans-serif as the prelim pages. Terrible. A serif is usually used for books with a narrative, and as a long biography, you'd think they'd have used one! This sans-serif is still easy enough to read, the characters are spaced and each page is justified. The main thing that's put me off reading this book if because I'm not used to it, and I find it a bit unsettling. Perhaps others didn't mind, but I think there's a time and a place for sans-serif fonts, and a long narrative story isn't one of them.
|Usborne, 2006, illustrations by Elena Temporin.|
Now to Shakespeare.
This is Stories from Shakespeare, the book takes 10 of his stories and re-writes them in to 'a lively, easy-to-read style', according to the blurb. I believe Mum picked this up at a second-hand store because that's just what she does sometimes. Dad started flicking through it and promptly gave up, for reasons you will see in a minute. Firstly, this cover. I do like it. It's bright enough to catch attention, without making the three witches from Macbeth look too exciting or happy. The typeface for the title and Usborne on the spine, as well as bring shiny and silver, gives a modern but still traditional feel to the book. The blurb uses a slightly-serif typeface, that links to the traditional feel that the title gives.
|Imprint, title page, and contents.|
Oh Macbeth, you're not hard to read. The black, slightly-serif typeface stands out easily against this yellow-cream background. You can see where the heading is, and where printers' flowers have been inserted to indicate a break. This is all well and good, but then the next picture tells all.
BAM. I can understanding wanting to be consistent with one colour for the text, but where the background is darker, you can hardly read the text. This was one of the issues Dad had when going through this book, and his other was actually the size of the text - apparently it's too small. I can read it, and kids probably can, but I can understand the difficulty. So back to the colours, I've mentioned before it's pretty OK to change the typeface colour if the illustrations call for it. The whole things makes me pretty angry, it looks ugly and, just like Dad, it'll turn people of even reading the book. Silly choice Usborne.
More to come,