Though I was on the newspaper staff in middle school, did layout for my high school year book, and worked on my college’s art & literature annual for three years, until recently I never fully appreciated the artistic merit of a good layout. Perhaps that would have been beaten into me more if I had taken more than one graphic design course in college. (One semester of typography — better known as “how to xerox sharpie-drawn letters” or “where to find the best copy machines” — was all I could stomach.)
Lately, though, I’ve been doing more and more layout. Most of that stems from working on Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, but I’ve also been doing a fair share of layout at work too: I’ve been working with HR to get our overdue Employee Handbook printed. While the layouts aren’t exciting or unique — nothing like layouts for a commercial magazine or newspaper — the fact remains that a good layout allows the content to shine. Likewise, if the layout does not compliment the content, or if it is poorly done (typos, misalignment, etc.), it distracts & detracts from the content.
Then I got to thinking… isn’t that a wonderful metaphor for people? Sometimes we get to be content, but sometimes we’re “just” layout. When we’re layouts, if we strive to be good layouts, we’ll compliment the content we’re in the presence of, be it our significant other, our children, our coworkers, our friends. And while it’s not as glorious to be the silent partner, there’s something humble about doing it well.
In other news, I heard back from Kakalak earlier this week! I had a poem accepted for publication (“Late but not running”) and a piece of my artwork received an Honorable Mention! Once the book is in print, I’ll make it public in my Shakespeare’s Monkeys library. 🙂