Gender-Neutral Marriage in Design

‘Small books have to be slim; large books may be wide. The small ones we hold in one hand; the large books rest on the table. The old sheet formats, all about 3:4 in proportion, when folded yield ratios of 2:4 and 3:4 in succession; the quarter-sheet is quarto or 3:4, the eighth is octavo or 2:3. The two major proportions of 2:3 (octavo) and 3:4 (quarto) form a sensible couple, like man and wife. The attempt to push them aside with the help of so-called normal formats, which use the hybrid ratio of 1:√2, goes against nature, like the wish to cancel the polarity of the sexes.’

— Jan Tschihold, ‘Consistent Correlation Between Book Page and Type Area’, The Form of the Book


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