Book design: Dorothy Day
and the Church
My second book production effort, a challenging job at more than 400 pages of widely ranging matter — and one I’m particularly proud and grateful to have been part of.
I designed and typeset the book for nonprofit group Solidarity Hall, who published it in collaboration with organizers of the 2015 conference where the collected studies and accounts were originally presented.
You can get it, of course, from the big A.
I wanted, as far as possible, an approach to this book befitting its subject, at once an unmistakably modern woman and a witness of saintly simplicity in many ways at odds with societal trends of the American twentieth century. At the same time, I wanted the unusual diversity of material included — from homily to personal reflection and memoir to heavily footnoted academic paper — to be accommodated equally.
Access to high-quality image files from Day archives held at Marquette University was one of the happy provisions for the project, made possible by Solidarity Hall’s partners, the conference organizers.
To get the balance I was looking for between friendly, readable pages, a sobriety and modesty suited to the great majority of the material, and the practical requirement of fitting a large amount of text to a reasonably sized physical volume, I settled on Sirba for body text and the enormously popular Lato for just about everything else — neither of them a self-assertive typeface, both often described as ‘warm.’ I’m still pleased with the result.
In our cover for the book, the conference organizers asked Solidarity Hall to use the same photo of Day and grandchildren that was adopted by designers of the event’s announcement graphics (at left, above).
My cover design borrowed the conference graphics’ color scheme, too, as a starting point, but pushed color in the direction of warmth and reduced contrast — a softened effect, overall.