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Image for Footnotes, Endnotes, Sidenotes and Popup Notes

Here we see the example of the first footnote in the chapter and the reference number in the text.

Footnotes, Endnotes, Sidenotes and Popup Notes

I start with a quote from Robert Bringhurst in his The Elements of Typographic Style:

“...the academic habit of relegating notes to the foot of the page or the end of the book is a mirror of Victorian social and domestic practice, in which the kitchen was kept out of sight and the servants were kept below stairs. If the notes are permitted to move around in the margins – as they were in Renaissance books – they can be present where needed and at the same time enrich the life of the page.”

In The Elements of Typographic Style, the notes are held in the side margins – thus putting the information near and even alongside the reference in the text. Robert Bringhurst doesn't need to bother with those little superscript numbers because the supplementary information is very much nearby for the reader.

Still, tradition dictates that in some books, there are footnotes and some there are endnotes (either at the end of the chapter or the end of the book). Putting notes in the side margins is nice if you can afford the space. Let's face it, book design and usability does not often win-out over commercial considerations. Robert Bringhurst's book is exceptional and – it is a beautiful thing. Lots of space for the text to breath.

How I dislike some books that give me less than a centimetre of margin.

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Posted on 17 Aug 2015 around 8am • Tagged with: Books | Ideas | Typography | Permanent link to this article

Flipping Hannibal Pages

Martyn Daniels pointed us towards the Random House promotion of the new Dr Hannibal Lecter novel from Thomas Harris. Random House have set up a dedicated web site for the book here and after a creeping about in a virtual space you can get a sample of the book. Don't get too excited though. We don't think this is as good as it sounds. Here is Martyn Daniels site, where we first observed this topic.

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Posted on 09 Jan 2007 around 10pm • Tagged with: Books | Publishing | Permanent link to this article