In 2013, a fourteen-year-old student, Suvir Mirchandani, was wondering how his school could reduce its ink consumption after receiving tons of daily handouts. He started his research by focusing on the most frequently used letters in these handouts: e, t, a, o, and r. Then he applied them to four different types of fonts—Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic, and Comic Sans—and compared their ink consumptions.
Every time someone says “don’t judge a book by its cover,” I cringe. This clichéd phrase implies that the cover of the book is useless in discerning what the book is about and that the cover has no other use than to “cover up” the pages within. The phrase was quite popular in my youth, and I recall being reprimanded by friends any time I turned down a book because I thought the cover was subpar. For years I felt guilty about being so judgmental—until a classmate introduced me to the work of Graphic Designer Chip Kidd.
If you’re of the bookish persuasion (and if you’re reading this blog post, the odds are probably good), you may also be of the mappish persuasion: when you pick up a book and discover it contains a map, a little piece of you erupts in excitement over this double-page spread that promises a literary quest is waiting inside.