What other people think
is beautiful
I often do not, and what I have found
beautiful, others often do not.

There is a line from Jane Bowles’ play The Jumping Bean that resonates with me on this note: Gabriel has asked Beryl Jane to tell him what things she thinks are beautiful. When she mentions snakes, he is baffled, and she says, “You mean what beautiful things do I love that the world loves.”1

And Yet

I find that yes, there are things I love that the world loves, and some of these things are in the articles I write here. I have come to appreciate that the principles of graphic design and typography are based, as Bringhurst says, “on the structure and scale of the human body—the eye, the hand, and the forearm in particular—and on the invisible but no less real, no less demanding and no less sensuous anatomy of the human mind.” And yet there is room for endless violation of principles and instinct. And this idea intrigues me endlessly.

Writing systems vary, but a good page is not hard to recognize, whether it comes from Tang Dynasty China, the Egyptian New Kingdom or Renaissance Italy. The principles that unite these different schools of design are based on the structure and scale of the human body—the eye, the hand, and the forearm in particular—and on the invisible but no less real, no less demanding and no less sensuous anatomy of the human mind.

Robert Bringhurst2

I started this site in 2014 after four years of teaching a workshop in basic design for medical writers at the annual conferences for the American Medical Writers Association. Before becoming a medical editor and freelance writer, I had been a video artist, adjunct professor in video production, film lighting, and video editing. I had also been a freelance camerawoman and off-line/on-line video editor. I started studying graphic design in the late 1990s at Parsons and School of Visual Arts and have never stopped.

  1. Bowles, Jane. “At the Jumping Bean.” Feminine Wiles.
    Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1976: 47.
  2. Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style,
    version 3.2. Canada: Hartley & Marks, 2008:10.

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