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You are here: Home / Conferences / Hong Kong 2012 / Programme / 11–14 October – General programme

Typography in marginal spaces

When Sun 14 Oct 1050
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What
Who Seung Yoon Lee

A transition from printed media to electronic media of book design makes people pay less attention to the marginal area. Graphic expressions in marginal areas seem to be more dimensional with interactions in the electronic media as information placed on the marginal areas can be hidden and shown selectively. I got interested in the changes of graphic and typography elements that are located in marginal areas during my research on paratexts’ visual presentation.

In this paper, examining (1) what kinds of changes can be discovered from the functional paratexts: footnotes, page numbers, book title, etc. in the margins and (2) what is a level of change, would be the main objectivity for this research. I will briefly examine distinctive changes in following three areas: elements, design, and bilingual expression of typography in marginal areas.

(1) Elements of information
There are various elements that comprised of the blank marginal area: page number, title of the book, title of the chapter, writer’s name, footnotes, etc. They are very functional but on the other hand, they hardly affect readers’ understanding of a book, so we may call them ‘functional paratext’. While the marginal area takes a function on introducing variety of information in a printed media, however, in digital, an information is easily found within hidden layers rather than in margins. Through the changes of media, some elements are emphasized and some are not. In this chapter, changes of the elements of information in the marginal area will be determined.

(2) Typography
We mostly neglect the white spaces surrounding a bunch of black letters since they are used for the supplementary texts which only exist to help the body texts. Typography design in marginal areas varies in its properties: font, color, size, and layout. Those texts can be located under the main text en bloc, or can be located near to the main texts that are relevant to. In this chapter, 10 kinds of classification regarding typographic design(ex. embedded type, independent type, separate type) from over 40 kinds of books will be introduced.  

(3) Typography for bilingual description
When a translated book is published, more annotations such as translator's explanations or original language descriptions, which are very important for the readers’ better understanding, are needed. These elements however should also be graphically differentiated with the main texts. Some particular characteristics and changes in typography of translated books were examined.

This research presents a lot of examples of marginal area typography and the audience will have a new viewpoint to this typography.

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