We are creating an information booklet with information about the World Heritage program and specific information about our site for my design synthesis class this semester. All told, the text is about 3000 words long, and includes bulleted lists, a timeline, multiple levels of headlines, and photos with captions.
I wanted the booklet for my site to be small enough to fit in the back pocket of a pair of jeans, or a man’s shirt pocket. These books would likely be distributed at the entrance to the park, at the beginning of a 10 mile hike, so portability and convenience are primary concerns. That set the size of the booklet at 4×5.5″, which is a pretty tiny size for that much text.
I set the text in Gotham at 9 points. Gotham is a very open sans serif typeface, so it can be set pretty small. Personally, I might go down another size, but I know that I tend to like type a lot smaller than everyone else, and I didn’t want to compromise legibility, especially since a range of ages will likely be using this booklet. That only gives me about 44 characters to a line, even with very narrow margins (2 point top and bottom, 2p6 inner and outer). I’d like the lines to be a little wider than that, but this works….just barely. Any narrower, and the rag becomes a huge mess, but I can make it work if I’m willing to use slim margins. I brought the first draft to class on Thursday, and the consensus was definitely not to go any smaller on the type, so I think this is likely where it will stay.
For the front section of the book that talks about Yakushima, I bled the images and didn’t use captions. The later section on the World Heritage program has photos from different sites in the program, and these were all cropped to the margins and identified with caption text.
I’ll probably keep playing with the front cover, and there are a couple of minor details to clean up here and there; typos found in the proofing copy, things like that. I may also play around with the section headings to leave a little more white space. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this is looking, and how the type is working in this example.