The decision of the editorial staff to publish a bilingual Archis beginning in 1993 demanded a new outlook for the word-picture relationship. Because the amount of text is now double, and visual images are the same in every language, an unbalanced relationship could result. Every possibility has been studied in order to find a balance between `the respect for the text’ and `the autonomy of the image’.
During the decision-making process regarding the hierarchy of the two languages, the staff expressed a definite preference for a slight inflation in the volume of the English text; the entity of a Dutch-language magazine must, however, prevail in the presentation. The image that Archis has built up in the past seven years must remain recognizable, only reinforced by annexing the English language and intensifying the autonomy of the illustrations.The cosmorama of an international magazine, however, demands more than just giving the design what art historians call a `new coat’. As tempting as it is to posture amongst the brightly-coloured displays of the international magazines, it is just as dangerous to present the incongruous figure of a parrot in a bodystocking. The `new coat’ then becomes the cover-up for a wrongly chosen typographical style of dress and buries its content deep in the insides pockets. Balancing on the dividing line between the deterioration of typographical functionalism and the software packages of progressive vermicelli, it was decided on a more tranquil typography, thereby affording greater reading comfort as well as creating space for contemplating the carefully selected illustrations.
The text as function and the image as form
The cover: All 1993 issues will have a thematic composition of three colour fields on the front and back covers and the binding. The colours have been chosen from the new 3031 Sikkens Collection. The photographic image in black and white shall assume a modest role in the colour field. A succinct quote selected from an article shall support this photograph. Grid: The pattern will, to use a popular term, be present as a virtual reality – it must have an invisible presence. The grid will consist of a coordinate system of three millimetres for the illustrations and a twelve-column system for the texts. Typeface: The Dutch text is set in Plantijn, the English in Gill. Typogram: The word processing is directed by fourteen typographical menus which are transmitted on coded floppydisks by modem to the compositor. Layout: The Magna page layout system works with formats for the various features and sections in accordance with the three millimetre coordinate system. The complete integration of text and illustration is in preparation. Lithography: The illustrative material in colour and black and white is scanned in screen 70 and following corrections to the first proof reassessed in laid-out form as Matchprint. Paper: 100 gram wood-free …. paper that due to its matte surface prevents irritating reflections when reading. Printing: Offset pages on a printing size of 70 x 100 cm on a computer-directed four colour press in quires of sixteen pages. Binding: Archis is sewn; the six quires of 16 pages are bound with thread and glued to the binding. This prevents the magazine falling apart with intensive use and increases the durability as a reference work.