Oh, Huck (Finn)…

Funny how cover art dates a book. It's definitely true that it's a book's "packaging" design.

Funny how cover art dates a book. It’s definitely true that it’s a book’s “packaging” design.

Some type design is just plain bad.
By bad, I mean abysmal.

I’ve always been one to love books and reading, however this copy of Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn is pretty atrocious in the typesetting department.

It is, in short, an eyesore inside, filled with flaws. (My apologies to the designer… but… c’mon, now.)

The leading is tighttighttight, in order to cram in all of the classic novel’s text onto one page. Visually, the ascenders seem to crash into one another in places. The kerning is inconsistent– some pages have some awkward rivers, while most words are pushed extremely close together. The tracking is pretty bad, too. The folios like to jump around– but hey, it could just be a printing error.

But the problems continue. As a reader, your eyes get pretty exhausted, from the lack of white space, the dense blocks of text and the  the chunky weight of the typeface (which, in all fairness, has bled both due to time and due to the poor quality of the paper this edition is printed on). The margins are almost non-existent on the edges, and the book has to be wrenched open pretty ferociously in order to read the story properly and not miss 68-or-so words per page (yup, I counted)…

Oh, Huck (Finn)...

A reader gets a visual eye-ache reading this edition. So… project officially-number-1-other-than-the-initial-bio-project? Reset the type! I’ll be doing a chapter opening and a spread or two, in order to navigate and attempt to enable an easier read of the novel. Check back in a week to see where the pages have turned!

-Melissa

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