Tag: Trailer

His Most Famous Painting (Violin and Candlestick) – Georges Braque

The Long Room

Georges Braque was an eminent twentieth century French painter and sculptor, who was also the co-founder of ‘Cubism.’ Born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, from 1897 to 1899, he learned painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at Le Havre, the city where he grew up. He commenced his artistic journey, experimenting in styles, such as ‘Impressionism’ and ‘Fauvism,’ before he developed ‘Cubism’ along with Pablo Picasso in 1908. Cezanne’s artistry of ‘multiple perspectives,’ exhibited at Salon d’Automne, in 1907, inspired the duo towards ‘Cubism.’ French art critic Louis Vauxcelles saw a painting by Braque in 1908 and called it ‘Cubism,’ or ‘bizarre cubiques.’ He perceived the artwork as ‘full of little cubes.’ This led to the christening of the Picasso’s and Georges’ invention as ‘Cubism,’ which the duo was not initially excited about. Braque’s magnum opus “Violin and Candlestick,” painted in spring 1910, exemplifies the vibrant persona of the ‘Cubist’ style of painting.

Mostly monochromatic in style and themed on ‘Still Life,’ Braque’s’ ‘Cubist’ works mostly stunned the art community. This 24″ x 19 3/4″ (61cm x 50cm), oil on canvass, “Violin and Candlestick” is a result of the amalgamated slices of music and violin sheets rearranged at atypical angles to create a single intertwined image, with the shifting surface of forms, planes, arcs, and colors. The painting whilst illustrating three-dimensional view of the subjects on a flat canvas, shuns the traditional ‘Renaissance’ perspective. This actually is ‘Cubism,’ which focuses on representing the subjects, as viewed from several angles.

“Violin and Candlestick” was an outcome of Georges’ obsession for form and stability, fuelled with a desire to create an illusion in a viewer’s mind to move around freely within the painting. To achieve this, the painter conglomerated the subjects at the centre of a grid like armature & covered the boundaries of the black-outlined objects using earth-toned colors. Thereby, he managed to transform the volumes of static to hold compound surfaces on a flat plane, enabling onlookers to appreciate more of form compared to any other angle. Recognizing and understanding the effects of light astutely to elicit the appropriate emotions and effects of the subjects also served as a vital parameter for Braque’s “Violin and Candlestick.” He expressed this art of fragmentation as “a technique for getting closer to the object.”

Georges Braque breathed his last on August 31, 1963, in Paris. His masterpiece, “Violin and Candlestick” is exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Art is a Reflection on Society – A Perspective

Workshop of the Patanazzi family (active circa 1580-1620),Inkstand with Apollo and the Muses,Maiolica (tin glazed earthenware) 1584

Art has always been a reflection of the emotions, personal struggle, and the path breaking events of a contemporary society. When a society demands or undergoes a change, art has mostly subtly complied with it. The Oxford Dictionary describes art as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” In effect, art definitely is an expressive platform for individuals, groups, as well as society, especially the radical changes or events witnessed thereof. It usually depicts the current or a particular scenario in the purview of the political situation, economic, social, geographical, the emotions spun therein, the undertones of revolutions, and uprising, to name just some.

If we go periodical about discussing art as a reflection of society, then we begin from the most ancient. The ‘Prehistoric Art’ consisted of paintings on the rocks and caves, which symbolized their routine lifestyles and rituals. The paintings were therefore, an evidence of their culture, which helped historians derive information about the life, culture, and the civilization of this era. The famous ‘Indus Valley’ or ‘Harappa,’ ‘Greek,’ and ‘Egyptian’ civilizations, especially had prolific artistry, including sculpture, architecture, paintings, engravings, and metal art.

In fact, the most we know about these amazingly rich civilizations, is credited to their narrative artifacts and buildings only. For instance, the ‘Egyptian Civilization’ believed in life after death. The society therefore, had a strong spiritual framework, concentrating more on the human journey after death. They believed in immortality and worshipped many deities, a fact distilled from the paintings adorning the walls of the great Pyramids. The Greek Civilization however, was more emphatic about the human form, its poise, and beauty, reflecting mostly on the attires, body languages, hairstyles, and cultures prevailing over different periods.

Creativity adopted the sects of ‘Art Movement’ to depict the realities of a contemporary society, vis-à-vis, its stable fabric, regularly changing aspects, and even revolutions. The impact of the contemporary socio-political scenario has also always been portrayed. For instance, before the First World War, Paris used to bustle with great political activity. This restlessness somewhere influenced the development of ‘Cubism’ by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. ‘Cubism’ involved the depiction of a particular subject from multiple angles, a practically prevalent situation then. The artistry turned mysterious in essence, to manifest the hatching of diverse political conspiracies in Paris at that time.

Expressionism’ was another art form developed, when the society was undergoing transitions at different levels, including creative. There was a revolt against the traditional outlook towards art. A modern approach was adopted. The ‘Modern Art’ was a blend of ‘Abstract Realism,’ in which the subject was distorted to depict its reality and emotional upheaval. The colors in the paintings have nearly always portrayed the true emotions of the subject, the event, or the mood of the artists.

To conclude, we can say that art may always not be beautiful aesthetically or comprehensible to all. It however, should be powerful enough to portray the current emotions of the society, including exposing harsh and subtle truths, while also encouraging the betterments. The only constant in the world is change. In tune, societies metamorphose through different annals of time and art helps capture the resulting twists and turns in the contemporary culture and lifestyle.

Famous Theme Parks in Florida

Fleet Street

Florida is known world-wide as a fun vacationland. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the Orlando/Kissimmee area, here’s whats waiting for you.

Walt Disney World, which includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Disney-MGM Studios. The Magic Kingdom is the king of theme parks, divided into seven distinct areas, and is known as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ by every kid from three to 103. It draws more visitors than any other theme park in the world. Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is like taking a vacation to the best sights in 11 different countries, as well as being able to participate in interactive presentations and view the latest in cutting-edge technology. Epcot is divided into two parks – Future World, which focuses on science and inventions, and technology from both the past and the future, and The World Showcase, which features a variety of countries celebrating their culture, history and cuisine. The Animal Kingdom is a vast assortment of more than 1,000 animals in a beautiful 500-acre park that transports visitors to exotic locales and leaves them with a renewed respect for our Earth and its inhabitants.

Disney-MGM Studios is a creative theme park devoted to bringing the magic of movies, television, radio and Broadway plays to life in an educational and fun environment.

Universal Studios Florida is creative, highly energetic, action park. This is a place where you can totally immerse yourself in the land of movies and television. You can go on exciting thrill rides or go behind the scenes or jump right into the action of some of your favorite films. The City Walk area is Universal’s shopping and dining complex – with everything from rock concerts and jazz to gourmet dining or causal fare.

Islands of Adventure is a high-tech theme park that is especially popular with families with small children and teens. Do battle with comic book heroes defy gravity, ride the white water rapids, and experience the world’s first inverted, dual roller coaster. Islands of Adventure is five adventure parks in one, from Marvel Superhero Island to Toon Lagoon, there is a different ride for young and old – something for just about everyone to enjoy.

SeaWorld Orlando is a marine-world adventure park with amazing animal encounters, world-class shows and thrilling rides. Guests can explore the mysteries of the sea and interact with marine life, or experience new state-of-the-art water rides with special effects. Nine restaurants are available at SeaWorld, ranging from full-service to cafeteria-style. Rides and Attractions include shows and animal attractions, thrill rides, and other special attractions like the kids’ play area with a splashy water maze and slippery slides. The Shamu Adventure, hosted by Jack Hanna, is one of the most famous animal attractions ever presented. It has trainers and killer whales performing astounding feats with dazzling theatrical effects to a rock ‘n’ roll beat. The Odyssea is a 30-minute show that transports guests to the depths of the ocean. Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island is SeaWorld’s comical tale of pirate adventures, along with help from Clyde the sea lion. Blue Horizons is a show with acrobatic dolphins. Other wonderful animal encounters include Penguin Encounter, Tropical Rain Forest, Dolphin Cove, Turtle Point and Manatee Rescue. SeaWorld is also home to the fastest, longest, tallest and only floorless roller coaster in the region. Journey to Atlantis combines a roller coaster/water ride with dazzling special effects. Wild Arctic is a motion-based, jet helicopter flight to a remote research station on the Arctic where you come face to face with real beluga whales, walruses and two polar bears named Klondike and Snow.

The Holy Land Experience takes you back 3000 years to the land of the Bible. It is an educational, inspirational, theatrical and historical presentation. It authentically recreates the city of Jerusalem and its religious importance between the years 1450 B.C. and A.D. 66 with sights, sounds and tastes. There are several indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities recreating the time when Jesus lived. Attractions include the Scriptorium museum, built in fourth-century Byzantine architectural style, houses the finest private collection of authentic biblical artifacts and antiquities in the world. Inside are ancient cuneiform, scrolls, manuscripts and Bibles – many of which are extremely rare or the only known copies in existence. Each treasured piece is exhibited in the historical and geological environment out of which it came. Exhibits include an exact replica of the Garden Tomb where the body of Jesus Christ was buried. A massive archway is the grand entrance to the Plaza of Nations, which houses the imposing Temple of the Great King, a place held in the highest reverence among the Jewish people. There are also a lot of fun activities for children at the Oasis Outpost, including a 25-foot climbing wall or you can dig for artifacts in a sandy desert.

There are a lot of wonderful places to see in Florida, so make sure Orlando is part of your itinerary.

Pros and Cons of Morning After Pills

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 06

The use of morning after pill has both advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Here are a few pros and cons you need to be aware of:

Pros:

1. It can be your last resort to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

2. If you are 17 years of age or over, you don’t need a prescription to buy morning after pills. You can have it soon after having an unprotected sex.

3. By consuming these pills, you can avoid unnecessary stress and tension about an unwanted pregnancy.

4. Even if the pills fail to prevent pregnancy, they will not cause any harm to the baby.

5. These pills won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future. Your fertility remains the same and returns with your next period.

6. Studies have shown that morning after pills effectively lower the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

Cons:

1. They can cause certain side effects. Some common morning after pills side effects are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, irregular bleeding and breast tenderness.

2. Morning after pills can also cause some serious side effects such as liver disorders, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure and blood clots in the heart, intestines and lungs.

3. They can cause serious health complications in women suffering from diabetes, heart diseases and migraine.

4. They can also have adverse effects in women, who are over 35 years of age and have cardiovascular disorders, deep vein thrombosis, liver problems and breast cancer.

5. The use of morning after pill raises the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. In such a pregnancy, the embryo gets lodged in the fallopian tubes rather than the womb. If you are using morning after pills, the pregnancy can remain undetected. This is because the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to the side effects of the pills: nausea and abdominal pain. If remain undetected for a long time, it can prove to be fatal.

6. Other than these side effects, the body may have an allergic reaction to the drug, causing an outbreak of rash and breathing problems.

7. Apart from physical side effects to the body, the emergency contraceptive pills can also have a wider social impact. The easy over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive pill raises questions about its misuse. Many people are of the view that it may lead to an increase in promiscuity, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and increased sexual violence against women.

Though the use of morning after pill becomes essential to avoid pregnancy after an unprotected sex, its usage must be avoided on regular basis.

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

~ Wonderful Pretty Mansion ~

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.

Online Art Galleries: Buying Original Art Online

Wandering through the Garden

What is new in the art world? Buying art online! Why? Why would anyone want to buy original art from an online art gallery? Because the excitement of discovering new artists and new artwork is just a click away! No matter where you live in the world, if you have access to the internet, you can experience and buy wonderful art. You can experience the art world from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you take your lap top or PDA.

The selection is enormous and diverse. Online galleries do not need to rent physical space so they are not limited. They can offer a wide range of art by artists. Online there is room for the largest sculpture and painting as well as smaller pieces. Media can range from metal to oils, to ceramics, to anything the creative artists can imagine. What gallery can you go to and find so many diverse artists, different media, so many pieces of art? Where else can you find artists from all over the world in one place?

You can browse to your heart’s content at any hour of the day and night. No one follows you around, bugging you with unwanted chatter and details! You can focus on art that appeals to you and challenges you. You can take the time to visualize it in your space.

You can find many art galleries online. However, if you are investing in art you should buy original art. The prices range from hundreds to thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. Often you can buy an original piece of art for the same price you may pay for a print. If you can afford only one piece then buy original art.

When buying art:

  • Make sure you know the size and medium.
  • If you love a painting, my recommendation is that you use butcher paper or newspaper and cut out the size of the piece you have fallen in love with. Hang it on the wall to make sure the piece fits.
  • If you love a piece of sculpture or ceramics or anything that is three-dimensional, make sure you have the space.
  • Most online galleries do guarantee satisfaction. Make sure you use one that does.

The world is your gallery! Start exploring today (or tonight)!

Writing Without Rules

Laguna di Caorle

How does that work when you have writer's block? Even famous authors can suffer from writer's block. It can be very frustrating when you have a deadline and have to get that essay or report in on time.

What causes writer's block? Think back to your time in English class in school. Your teacher wants you to write an essay about Shakespeare or your thoughts on a particular poem for your homework. This you find boring. As you sit at home with your copy book open on a blank page the clock ticks loudly in the background. It is not happening. There is no enjoyment in the task. Teacher has set certain criteria about what has to be included in the essay, how long the essay should be, specific very important points that need to be expanded on and of course your own opinion. The list is endless and monotonous. The deadline is tomorrow morning first thing.

The stress levels are fairly high now. Where has the fun gone? Many adults have memories from school similar to this one. Now when you sit down to prepare a report or article this memory from your school years is playing in the back of your mind. You may not be aware of it but if you are sitting in front of a blank screen or piece of paper then there is a traumatic memory in there somewhere from your school days.

So what can you do about writer's block? Give this exercise a go before you start. Hold a pen in your non-dominant hand. Hold the palm of your other hand in front of you and draw what you see without looking at the page. Keep your eyes focused on all the creases and undulations of the palm of your hand. This is not about the finished piece of artwork. This is about the process.

You activate the right side of your brain when you draw with your non-dominant hand. This part of your brain is responsible for your creativity. The left side of your brain is you logical and analytical side. This is the side where you can get thought up in all the detail – such as all the points the teacher wanted included in the essay, the length of the essay and all the other 'teachers' rules from you school days.

When you activate the right side of your brain you will release your creativity and the ideas will start to flow. It will be a lot easier to write. Forget all the rules which the English teacher set. The only rule here is there are no rules. Give it a go and have fun writing without rules.

The Best Computer For Graphic Design

Breathing...

Since Desktop Publishing (DTP) came out in the eighties, graphic designers have been utilizing computer technology. This has pushed all graphic designers to become competent with computer hardware at the very least.

What is Desktop Publishing (DTP)? In the 1980s, it was a common term applied to digital publishing systems. These systems were developed to replace large, pre-press, specialist design and compositing systems.

Graphic designers are very heavy on computers whether these are Windows PCs or Apple Macs. Whichever computer a graphic designer chooses to use, he / she will opt for the best computer that he / she can purchase. Graphic designers will rarely choose cheap computer hardware.

Back in the eighties, Macs were the only choice for designing and printing. Almost all design layout and graphics software was developed for Macs only or even if the software could be used in Microsoft Windows PC, it was much more reliable on a Mac. Additionally, at that time, Macs were associated with the different technologies used in the prepress and Windows PC was just not a practical choice. Today, modern versions of Mac OS X and Windows allow graphics designers to use design software either in a Mac or PC – they are no longer forced to choose one over the other.

Many graphic designers are not IT experts and making a decision on which computer to buy can be quite daunting. Of course, if money is not a problem, the decision would simply be to buy the most expensive Apple Mac or Windows PC. But most designers can not afford to do that. In fact, some creative professionals have budgets for second hand equipment only. What really matters to these graphic designers are issues that regular computer users do not even have to think about. These are printer color accuracy, monitor calibration, hard disk speed and external storage devices for gigabytes of data.

Recent studies show that the top 5 computers for graphic design are a mix of Macs and PCs and both laptop and desktop computers fall in this category. But just like any product that a consumer buys, it really is the personal preference of the designer whether he / she will use a desktop computer or a laptop. The important thing is that the user / graphic designer has the appropriate software for the type of computer that he / she wants to purchase.

The Top 5 computers for graphic design are:

Mac Pro Desktop

The Mac line of computers is still broadly preferred by most graphic designers. According to Apple, the latest Mac Pro features the all new quad-core Intel Xeon "Nehalen" processor which makes the job of a graphic designer much easier. Apple states further that the new Mac Pro is up to 1.9 times faster than its predecessor. Each processor has an integrated memory controller that allows the processors to have faster access to stored data in the computer's memory, with memory latency decreed by up to 40 percent. This feature will save a lot of time for designers when they do their work.

MacBook Pro Laptop

The MacBook Pro Laptop comes in 13, 15 and 17 inch sizes. It has high-performance NVDIA graphics and LED backlit display which makes editing graphics easier and clearer. This latest model has battery power that lasts up to 8 hours (on 17-inch version). It is powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Dell Studio XPS Desktop

The Dell Studio XPS Desktop features the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. If you plan on working with intensive video or 3D editing, you can have an upgrade to the 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM. But its base 3GB memory will enable you to edit photos, create vector or raster designs with ease. Its high-definition ATI graphics card creates clear, accurate and flawless graphics – just what a graphic designer needs.

Toshiba Qosmio Laptop

The Toshiba Qosimo is an affordable solution to your graphic design needs. It is powered by either the Intel Core i7 or i5 processor making it easier to create flawless graphics. It has a high-end NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, which ensures that you can clearly see every pixel and frame that you edit. It has a 6GB DDR3 1066MHz memory and a 1GB GDDR5 discrete graphics memory.

HP Pavilion Elite Desktop

The HP Pavilion Elite Desktop is an affordable computer. It is powered by either an AMD Athlon or an Intel Core processor that ranges from an X4 630 quad-core (Athlon) to an i7-980X six-core Extreme Edition (Intel). All HP Pavilion Elite Desktop computers come with genuine 64-bit Windows 7 for the latest technology. Memory ranges from 4GB up to 9GB which guarantees smooth and effortless run of the high-end graphics that you use.

What Font Should You Use For Your Book?

Famous Writer

One of the most common questions asked by would-be self-publishers who are intent on designing and typesetting their book themselves is, “What font should I use?”

I’m always relieved when somebody asks the question. At least, it means they’re not just blindly going to use the ubiquitous default fonts found in most word processing programs.

However, there is almost no way to answer the question. It’s like asking, “What’s the best car model for commuting to work everyday?”

You’ll get a different answer from almost everyone you ask. And they might all be correct.

I am willing to offer one hard-and-fast rule, however: don’t use Times New Roman or Times Roman. That will brand your book as the work of an amateur at first glance. And there are other, very practical, reasons for not using it. Times Roman and Times New Roman were designed for the narrow columns of newspapers, originally for the London Times back in the 1930s. Today, almost no newspapers still use it. How, or why, it became a word processing standard, I have no idea. The font tends to set very tight, making the text block on the page dense and dark.

Here are two caveats before proceeding to few recommendations:

  1. The typeface you choose may depend on how your book will be printed. If you look closely at most serif fonts (like Times), you will notice that there are thick and thin portions of each letter. If your book will be printed digitally, you should steer away from fonts with segments that are very thin. They tend to become too faint and affect readability.
  2. Don’t get carried away with the thousands of font choices available. Most are specialty fonts suitable for titles, headlines, advertising, emotional impact, etc. And never use more than a very few fonts in a single book — we usually choose one serif font for the main text body, a sans serif for chapter titles and headings within the chapters. Depending on the book, we may select a third font for captions on photos, graphics, tables, etc. (or maybe just a different size, weight, or style of one of the other two). We may select a specialty font for use on the front cover for the title and subtitle.

For 90% of books, any of the following fonts are excellent choices:

  • Palatino Linotype
  • Book Antiqua (tends to set tight, so you may have to loosen it up a bit)
  • Georgia
  • Goudy Old Style
  • Adobe Garamond Pro (tends to have a short x-height, so it might seem too small in typical sizes)
  • Bookman (the name sort of gives it away, doesn’t it?)
  • Century Schoolbook (tends to be a bit wide, creating extra pages)

You need to look at several paragraphs of each font to see what, if any, adjustments you may find necessary in things like character spacing and kerning. You want to avoid little confusions, like:

  • “vv” (double v) that looks like the letter “w”
  • “cl” (c l) that looks like the letter “d”

Such things can make the reading experience annoying.

If you ask other designers, you will likely get other suggestions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least some of the above included in their recommendations.

You may run across some books with more unusual font choices, but there are often good reasons for it. Maybe the book is a humor book for which the designer chose a lighthearted font, for example. Such decisions should be made with care and thoughtful consideration for the effects on readability.

Never decide on your font or font size based only on viewing how it looks on your monitor. Most trade paperback books are printed in 10 or 11 point size, but some fonts require larger – or even smaller – sizes. If 12 points looks too big and 11 too small, you can try 11.5 – no need to stick with integer sizes. You might be surprised how much difference a half-point (or even a quarter-point) can make on the overall “feel” of the page.

You also have to decide on appropriate leading (pronounced like the metal), which is the distance from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline for the next line, measured in points. The result is usually expressed as a ratio of the font size in points to the selected leading in points. So, you might say you have set the body text in Georgia 11/14 or Bookman 10/12.5 (11-point size with 14 points leading and 10-point size with 12.5 points leading, respectively).

Word processing programs tend to work in decimal inches, forcing you to convert leading from points into inches. A standard point is equal to 0.0138 inches. Professional typesetting/layout programs (like Adobe InDesign) allow you to use points and picas to define all type measurements and settings. although you can also specify those settings in various other units (including inches).

Typically, book designers will develop more than one design for each book’s interior, using different fonts, sizes, and leadings. They should typeset a few pages of the actual manuscript and print them out with the same page settings they plan to use in the final book (e.g., 6″ x 9″ pages). This allows the client to compare them side-by-side and evaluate them for readability and overall look.

And don’t forget your target audience. Very young readers and very old readers do better with larger type. Books that are very textually dense with long paragraphs frequently need more leading and a wider font.

Ultimately, you have to choose based on what your gut reaction is to the typeset samples. It never hurts to ask other people to read it and tell you if one option is easier to read than another.

If you want to gain an appreciation for typography and how to make appropriate design decisions, I recommend the following excellent books:

The Complete Manual of Typography by James Felici

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Book Design and Production by Pete Masterson

For those who insist on using Microsoft Word to typeset books, you really should buy and study Perfect Pages by Aaron Shepard. He is the reigning guru of how to do it.

It is far better to buy professional layout software and then learn all you can about typography and how to apply those principles to book design…or to hire a professional to do for you. The latter course will leave you more time to develop a dynamic marketing plan for your latest book and start writing your next one!