Friday, March 9 2007

Dear Edward Trimnell,

In your book, Modern Japanese Vocabulary, the content seems to be quite reasonable. The layout and typography, however, sucks rocks through a straw.

There’s no index.

The handmade table of contents is set centered, with (usually) three periods separating the apparently-randomly-arranged section headings from their page numbers.

The actual content pages are covered in gratuitous horizontal rules (classic chartjunk), and set in a proportionally-spaced, slightly-condensed sans-serif kanji font.

Sub-section headers are honest-to-gosh sheep-stealing letterspaced lowercase. Also centered.

No running headers or footers to help the reader find a section in the book.

No obvious method for the arrangement of individual entries in each section.

The kanji column on the right-hand pages is hard to read due to the tiny margins and tight binding.

In short, you’ve self-published a reference book that’s hard to reference. Please hire an experienced book designer for any future products, including any revised editions of this book.