Omnibus is a book project conducted by Mark Farmer. Mark compiled the typewritten dairy entries of his grandmother, Elizabeth Chambers, into a book for his family to keep her story alive for years to come and to ensure new family members get to know her. The text was lightly edited and proofread to preserve her original voice and a new preface was added by Mark to contextualize the book. The design was intended to highlight this book as family heirloom and referenced design styles that were prevalent during the 20’s to 40’s in California where Elizabeth resided.
The decorative poppies used in the interior design were hand drawn and function as section opening pages. This ornate decoration alongside the hand drawn apricot border on the front cover were designed to reference the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. This design used 2 stock photos of wooden picture frames merged together with the apricot design digitally painted on top by hand. The central image is an archival image of Elizabeth as a young girl.
The font chosen was also in reference to popular old-style serif fonts in use at the time and included a font that is very similar to the one that Frederic W. Goudy designed in 1938 which was used as a private press type for the University of California publishing house. You can read more about the font here. We also looked at book layout from that time period to create an interior book design layout that uses a wider outer margin and a text block that is placed closer to the spine, thus allowing for Mark’s incredible archival family images images to extend outside of the outer margin for additional emphasis. The nod to various historically significant design elements help make this book feel like a prized possession for family members to continue to pass down.
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