Behind Their Dust Jackets
A love story
Baskerville was a much maligned figure, his contrasts deemed too sharp, with a character that was described by many as difficult to read. He was rumoured to be ‘damaging to the eyes’, though there was much debate about what type of damage he might cause. There were those who were quite swept away by his beauty, who thought he was very well-structured, with an elegance and symmetry rarely seen before. Others, however, were more inclined to discuss his sharpness, his thin lines, his ‘uniqueness’ – a term in this circumstance which was not meant as a compliment.
Perhaps these discussions came from a place of jealousy, snobbery, a need to tear down the successful. Baskerville, however, remained unaffected by his critics, and in doing so became a very popular figure indeed – and none more popular than with one Mrs Eaves.
Mrs Eaves, being of a much younger age and different time than that of Baskerville, was much better received in society. With her softer contrasts and low x-height, her wider proportions and her habit of appearing one point size smaller than the average typeface, Mrs Eaves’ entry into society was deemed acceptable.
Not that she was without scandal. For all the openness and lightness that her low x-height created, people whispered that perhaps it was too low, perhaps there was an awkwardness about her, that her characters didn’t quite fit together. There was talk of her loose spacing, in hushed tones of course. Despite this, Mrs Eaves had a unique quality that resonated with people – in particular one Mr Baskerville.
That the two should meet seemed inevitable. When Mrs Eaves laid eyes on Baskerville, it was love at first sight. She enchanted him with her ligatures, and he in turn dazzled her with his readability. She rounded him out, gave him a playfulness never before seen in one as structured as he. He was just her type, and his old world charm fit beautifully with her more modern ways. She found his ability to transition between their two world a source of great delight.
It could be said that they were ‘two characters in a ligature’. They shared many characteristics – the tails of their Q’s, their open-bottomed g’s. But it was their differences that made them extraordinary. With Baskerville’s clear forms, and Mrs Eaves’ decorative flair, the two combined were a force to be reckoned with.
With Baskerville as her constant support, Mrs Eaves became unstoppable. CD covers, restaurant menus, logos, she adorned them all. However, it must be said that her greatest love was literary. Mrs Eaves felt most at home with books. On their covers, in their blurbs, behind their dust jackets. A trip to the bookstore was never complete without witnessing Mrs Eaves in a vast array of elegant compositions.
It was a truth universally acknowledged that a partnership such as this must surely go down in history as one of the greatest love stories of all time.