A Sign of Wisdom

  • An in­gredi­ent of wis­dom is the abil­ity to in­ter­n­al­ise con­trast­ing set of ideo­lo­gies. Thus, one should be able to de­cide which ideo­logy is op­timum for any in­stances of prac­tical ap­plic­a­tions, without any bias.

    In ty­po­graphy, sym­metry and asym­metry are long de­bated ideas. Many of the be­gin­ners as well as the ad­vanced books on ty­po­graphy for­bids the use of sym­met­rical ty­po­graphy. Where as, see how the mas­ter ty­po­grapher – Jan Tschich­old – teaches.

    “The ar­gu­ment about sym­metry and asym­metry is fu­tile. They each have their own areas and spe­cial pos­sib­il­it­ies. One should not be­lieve, however, that asym­met­rical com­pos­i­tion is un­con­di­tion­ally more mod­ern or even ab­so­lutely bet­ter merely be­cause it is younger. Even in the best of cases, asym­metry is in no way sim­pler or easier to set than sym­metry, and to turn up one’s nose at sym­met­rical type­set­ting be­cause it seems an­ti­quated is simple a sign of lim­ited ma­tur­ity. A cata­log set asym­met­rical may demon­strate mil­it­ary or­der. In a book set in this fash­ion, the flow of read­ing would be dis­rup­ted. Asym­met­rical let­ter­heads may be bet­ter than sym­met­rical ones, but asym­met­rical small ad­vert­ise­ments look ter­rible when they are com­bined one a page. In ty­po­graphy neither old style or a new style mat­ters; qual­ity does.”Jan Tschich­old, ‘On Ty­po­graphy’ – The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design

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