... and on the Art of Book
The art of book
is a creative process, which begins with a general idea and ends with
graphic design and typographic realization. Since book first of all
is a means of information, it has to be functional, that is clear, reader
friendly and nice. The value of book as a work of art is mainly determined
by tasteful and functional typographic form, things like format, typeface,
matter, paper, binding. Everything counts: the relationship of paper
and type, overall layout structure and how matter is organized on each
Lithuanian tradition of the art of book has always depended on the art
of illustration. We used to have and continue having talented illustrators,
yet fewer are the artists who can successfully integrate illustrations
into an overall design of the book.
The number of illustrated books (especially books for children) has
obviously decreased over the last two decades. With the new technologies,
computers, abundance of paper and binding materials, typographical aspects
take the lead in the development of the art of book.
Yet it is deplorable, that book illustration is going off the stage.
Today in Lithuania a lot of talented graduates of the Art Academy get
no chance to show their ability as the publishers no longer need them.
The international book fairs, even though they focus on commercial publishing,
offer a yardstick to measure the local achievement. In the context of
more modern publishers, Lithuanian books sometimes strike as too humble
and provincial, though Lithuanian artists really do not lack aesthetic
education. There are things we can really be proud of. Every year several
books - veritable works of art - come out of print. Lithuanian books
are always found to be the most beautiful at the Baltic contests of
the art of book.