Books, Art, & Visual Culture


Writing and design by Melissa Hill, graphic designer.

Inspired by this week...

When I had the idea to create a new website to serve as a homage to my love of books, I decided to be quite self-indulgent about it. After all, when does a practising graphic designer get to revel in colours and type and layout and imagery to suit only their own ideas of beauty, order and logic? So I let my current obsessions feed into the design, and the result is as you see it.

I am loving sort-of-tonal-but-sort-of-jarring colour combinations right now... bright oranges and almost eye watering reds, slightly odd purplish pinks - it's a pity it's not as easy to achieve these colours in print as it is on screen. I'm enjoying these combinations with beautiful classic serif typefaces: the effect is quite retro, but in an oddly contemporary way. I know, makes no sense.

As for typography... I'd be lying if I said there were ever any real contenders other than GT Sectra. This is currently my favourite typeface – I've been loving it ever since the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra started using it. The first time I ever saw it was when I noticed the new MSO logo outside Hamer Hall. I know these kinds of spiky, somewhat aggressive serifs are oh so trendy at the moment, but GT Sectra is so beautiful and truly calligraphic in its structure that I think it will have decent longevity. Just because something is on-trend, doesn't mean it can't also be a classic. I enjoy Sectra because it feels a bit like using Bodoni with more attitude.

I must say though, that I'm also finding the typeface Sabre pretty wonderful. It's used to great effect on Anna Morrison's cover design of "A Book of American Martyrs" by Joyce Carol Oates and yes, it is sitting in my MyFonts wishlist at the moment.

Image credits:
1. Hidden Characters, from the Grilli Type blog
2. A Book of American Martyrs, cover by Anna Morrison
3. Nobelpreise, from the Grilli Type blog
4. Outline agency website, from Typewolf
5. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra logo, Studio Round
6. Paris Georgia store website
7. Against Everything, cover by Kelly Blair, from Fonts in Use
8. Community Films website, from Typewolf