By Edmond H. Legum
Edmond H. Legum has produced a useful and unconventional book on the typographical and page layout requirements peculiar to workbooks. Unconventional because The Design of Workbooks æsthetically and functionally embodies the subject that it represents. Useful because Legum addresses the needs of a class of documents sorely neglected by other authors—those cheaply produced workplace training guides, internal reports, and similar proprietary documentation that often fail miserably to communicate effectively, much less attractively. Legum’s result, a wire-bound and photocopied (not printed) workbook that doesn’t pretend to be more than it is.

After an anecdotal foreword by Sumner Stone, Legum introduces the ten most common mistakes made in workbook design and briefly proposes a solution for each. Legum then communicates layout design methods by way of example. A series of ten layout templates serves as the platform for sensitizing the reader to the application of fundamentals discussed along the way. Moreover, each template is accompanied by tightly integrated illustrations and notes touching upon larger concepts: the golden section, ISO, and organic proportion.

Side notes for cited works have been thoughtfully provided throughout the book. Each section is divided by a heavier cover stock page, making it quick to find a particular area. Appendix B offers pointers on creating book covers. The Design of Workbooks is elegantly set using the Stone family of fonts and Appendix C contains contact info and a presentation of the Stone Type Foundry’s offerings in the form of limited character set displays.

The Design of Workbooks is at once approachable and practical, a utilitarian book that should prove useful to those who must design this kind of publication, so ubiquitous in large organizations. It’s available from the author by itself for US$29.95, or with a set of floppy disks (Mac or PC) which includes the templates presented in the book (in PageMaker file format), and eight Stone family fonts for US$159.00.

—Delve Withrington

Cover, The Design of Workbooks © 1997 Edmond H. Legum
Order From: Edmond H. Legum [email protected]

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Delve Withrington is the founder of Delve Media Arts and the Publisher of TypeBooks.

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Design of Workbooks, The: The quick and easy way to create training materials that invite attention.
Author: Edmond H. Legum (Foreword by Sumner Stone)
Publisher: E.G. Kidd [1997]
ISBN: None
Binding: Wire-Bound, 106pp, 8 1/2" x 11", Floppy disk set optional (Mac or PC)

© Copyright 1997–2002 TypeBooks