Getting the type assignment together is (since there are a few more tweaks I need to make) proving to be trickier than I had thought. Then again, I scrapped my original plan and went with an entirely different scheme. I originally wanted to design around antebellum photographs, but found that the uncertainty of the medium before the Civil War, the thing that interests me the most, doesn’t lend itself to a specific design scheme. I flipped through dozens of advertisements for galleries, but nothing really grabbed me, and I found this completely dragged down my ability to conceptualize what my layout and text should look like. So after a couple days of frustration I abandoned that track and remembered a paper I’d written about eugenics rhetoric, and how much I (bizarrely, I know) am fascinated with the emergence and popularity of eugenics movements.
This choice gave me a time period (late 19th-turn of the 20th century) and a theme (science) to work around. Since I wanted to mimic a scientific publication, I chose to use all serif fonts after skimming through some period publications on Google books. David tweeted a great resource showing off some of the nicest Google webfonts, and I grabbed the Old Standard TT immediately. It reminds me of those fabulous long titles found in 19th century journals and books, so I decided to use it on my page for my nav bar, subheads, and image captions. I opted for Garamond for my body text for two main reasons: first, because I wanted to use a more universally installed font and second, to me it’s more elegantly formed than other common serif options. I realize these font choices are rather tame, but I think, fitting with the subject matter and materials.
I decided on my color palette with the help of Color Scheme Designer, my go-to color tool. I kept the colors muted and used the dark blue in the header, subhead, and pullquote to subtly delineate from the black body text. I chose the red background for the images to make them standout and to connect with the common use of red as a highlight color other eugenics/sterilization posters and artwork.
Footnotes are still my single biggest concern. There are several options available depending on how they are integrated, or not, into the flow of the document. I like the idea of sidenotes, but am not sure how to effectively code them yet. I prefer notes that appear with a mouse hover to give the reader the information without jumping them to the bottom of the page and back. Throughout this second-half scramble to get something decent up I’ve had one lesson pounded into my head hard: complete planning is vital. I thought I had acknowledged this, but if I had I think I would have abandoned the first attempt much earlier and had more time/energy to put into the second. Or at least I hope I would have.