Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“By all means break the rules…”

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Typography thrives as a shared concern—and there are no paths at all where there are no shared desires and directions. A typographer determined to forge new routes must move, like other solitary travelers, through uninhabited country and against the grain of the land, crossing common thoroughfares in the silence before dawn. The subject of this book is not typographic solitude, but the old, well-traveled roads at the core of the tradition: paths that each of us is free to follow or not, and to enter and leave when we choose—if only we know the paths are there and have a sense of where they lead. That freedom is denied us if the tradition is concealed or left for dead. Originality is everywhere, but much originality is blocked if the way back to earlier discoveries is cut or overgrown.

If you use this book as a guide, by all means leave the road when you wish. That is precisely the use of a road: to reach individually chosen points of departure. By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. This is one of the ends for which they exist.

Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Written by nevalalee

November 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

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