Notes on Book Design
In a career spanning more than forty years, Derek Birdsall has achieved renown as a leading book designer in Britain. This practical and inspirational book distils a lifetime’s professional experience. It presents and discusses nearly fifty books he has designed, showing 360 spreads and covers, all in full color and to scale.
The designs range from Penguin paperback covers in the 1960s to a recent complete redesign of The Church of England’s book of Common Worship. Among Birdsall’s projects are award-winning art catalogues, catalogues raisonn on such major artists as Mark Rothko and Georgia O’Keeffe, and books on wine, chess, astronomy, architecture, and fine paper. Birdsall discusses and illustrates the process of book design, from brief to deadline (which he calls the designer’s muse). He includes specimen settings of his favorite text faces as well as an innovative metric grid system for designing books. In addition, he lists books he himself has found useful or inspiring. For every reader curious about the design or production of books, this is a uniquely informative and instructive book.