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Old 08-11-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by terrie View Post
I don't think that this book design is due to it originating in the UK or the differences between UK and US approaches to design. I think it's just crappy design?
Most prose works (fiction or non-fiction) are set in justified lines, for better or worse. English and North American typographic styles differ, as do spelling, bits and pieces of vocabulary, and some aspects of grammar, but you should be able to adapt to the conventions within a chapter. (You should read more English mysteries — that is where I learned to read English-style English!)

It looks to me that they ran out of space for the footnotes; I would have put each page reference on a new line, myself. But it appears he has extensive quotes from a few references, and I think the endnotes would have been repetitious, too numerous, and seriously annoying.

Hard to evaluate the book design or quality of the typography from your snapshot of the index, but the lines look a bit too wide (and the margins evidently too small) for easy readability. There is also a lot of space in the lines (recognizing that this is not normal text), especially between initials in names but also the inter-word spacing. Combined with the typestyle — and in the notes, the frequent bold and italics — as well as the leading, the clumsy spacing makes the page look choppy and rough, which is always distracting.

These flaws are hardly unique to the English — publishers everywhere often try to save a signature (or two) by squeezing more type than fits decently on a page.

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