English Medieval Church Towers: The Northern Province

The Boydell Press (2018)
140 x 216mm, 344pp

Work carried out: proofreading, copy-editing, page design and make-up

This guide to the medieval church towers of the Northern Province of England (i.e the dioceses of Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southwell and Nottingham, and York), details 500 examples, with descriptive text drawn from the Historic England National Heritage List and each tower illustrated with a watercolour by W.E. David Ryan, a retired architect.

Our brief was to present four towers per double-page spread. The entries for each church were of varying length, so by a series of grep searches we ascertained a representative number of words per entry and established the design on that basis. Longer entries were allocated a page to themselves, with layout varying according to the shape of the tower, and there was just one entry that required a full spread of its own.

Even so the small page size, intended to let the book be used as a pocket field guide, meant that the body text was only 8pt, but the use of columns and sans-serif lead-ins maintained readability. A ‘trade’ feel was required for the overall design, so body text in Minion was complemented with Open Sans for headings and lead-ins, while the use of Runic MT Condensed for part and section titles echoed the cover, thereby ensuring the overall integrity of the book.

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