art 2002/1
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Romo Oranto knygos antra­tinis puslapis


... and on the Art of Book

by Romas Orantas

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 page.
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.

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