I think that it is fair to ask if the process of building grids for the design, described in the previous PRODUCTION post, is really necessary and/or useful and/or efficient. (Efficient? Since when was that a concern? Aren’t you letterpress printing these books?) Is it necessary? Any useful step seems as necessary as the making-of-books itself, which I believe is very necessary. So is it useful then? It is, for me, for the process at this moment.
It is an opportunity at the beginning of the design process (which is often the earliest stage of concretely “working on” a book) to dwell in that process and in the design itself. The careful mapping of the two dimensions allows me to understand it more fully, visually and intuitively. But that movement inside those two dimensions also happens in time as well, and that active yet meditative time is extremely important (for me) to real-izing a design with sufficient tension and potential energy. I often joke about letting ideas for projects “marinate.” Time is all-important. There must be enough time to “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something more to it.” (Jasper Johns) The more, usually, is where we learn.
Thought, technical: If such a big deal is made about using an internal system of measurements based on the overall size of the book itself, doesn’t it make sense to also base that overall size on an appropriate system of measurement? Like points/picas, in order to harmonize with the scale of the type? I’m sure lots of designers have come to the same conclusion before, and yes, I think it does make sense. Counter-thought: Is the minute discrepancy between points and inches even worth worrying about?
Thought, meta: This rhetorical technique of asking, then answering, questions is getting a bit schizophrenic. I think we should stop.