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UAL Research Online

Design for Page 1

McNeil, Paul (2012) Design for Page 1. In: Page 1: great expectations: seventy graphic solutions. GraphicDesign&, London, pp. 178-181. ISBN 9780957238107

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: McNeil, Paul

For the Page 1 book project, Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright (GraphicDesign&) invited 70 contributors to submit a new design for the first page of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

The work undertaken in response investigates the role and responsibility of the editorial designer in servicing the audience, the author, the message and/or himself. Beatrice Warde famously compared the effective layout of the book page to the construction of a window frame. This highlights ideas about the act of designing as performance or representation, suggesting, through the subtle interconnectedness of the view, the frame and the viewer, that language can never be transparent. For the Page 1 project, these ideas have been interrogated, identifying the designer as a performer or mediator of a text rather than superimposing any personal formal preferences or tastes.

The first page of the first edition of the novel was re-appropriated to make a statement about the purpose of typography as the ‘performance’ of a text in both the theatrical and functional senses of that word.

The final design appears to be a reproduction of a segment of the 1860 edition of Great Expectations. Its quaint two column layout and its overall style are what one would expect of a Victorian, Dickensian page. However, it is a completely inauthentic construction. What is not visible in the work itself is the fact that it has been entirely hand rendered – painstakingly traced from an original scan. In this way, the project's design process has effaced itself, erasing any traces of its own construction and leaving only a neutral frame to the text.

Official Website: http://www.graphicdesignand.com/outputs/bliss/page-1
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: GraphicDesign&
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2012
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 14:18
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2013 14:19
Item ID: 6088
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6088

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