Stealing from the very best

I am avoiding working on this website by continuing to work on designing the book version of "Wake Up in Rage!," a long poem by my friend Jeffrey Donald Payne, soon to be published by The Lichtenbergian Press, an imprint of Boll Weevil Press.

I've typed in his handwritten (!) manuscript and am now playing with different typefaces to see what we need.

Here are my suspects:

I took a selection of the text, about half a page, and set it in each of these fonts (as well as six others that I have discarded as not meeting the GESTALT.)  I've compared and contrasted and have not reached a decision.  That's OK: I don't need to yet.

My next step (SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION) is to create a mock-up of a page in the finished book so I can see how these typefaces behave within margins, with leading, etc.  So I went to the shelf to find a book the size I think Wake Up in Rage! should be, and I found two: a Dover Thrift Edition of love poetry (5-1/8" x 8-1/4") and T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, in the old Harvest edition (4-1/4" x 7-1/8").

I was struck immediately by the graceful font in which Eliot's poems are set, so I went to What The Font? at, where I failed to submit a quality scan of enough letters for the algorithm to give me a good reading. 

I was directed to Identifont, where I was more successful. (Fun fact to know and tell: the capital letter 'J' does not appear anywhere in Four Quartets.)

The result?  Perpetua, my last choice based on my printouts.  More work is required.  We'll see if I end up liking it more after the page mock-ups.

But at least I know that a font that I already own (and should have recognized) will give me the stark, elegant look I'm looking for. If it worked for T.S. Eliot, it should work for anyone, right?  STEAL FROM THE BEST.

This is not the first time I've borrowed liberally from the greats in publishing.  For Marc Honea's Another Farewell to the Theatre, I deliberately made the cover to remind one of the the old Grove Press publications from the 1950s and 60s.