Rivers of white space ---- page two
Wordspacing is important she would say. Don't let it get too
gappy, you'll get rivers of white that carry the eye down
the page. It's distracting, she said. It's bad typography.
She had just broken up with a woman named Rennie. It was
not a clean break--they'd bought a house together and
everything. Then Rennie wanted out, demanded her share back
so she could split. I heard about it many times. Lou managed
to buy out Rennie's half of the house somehow, but she
didn't find anyone to take her place.
She was good at layout. A customer wanted help with an
invitation to his parents' anniversary. Something simple but
unconventional. Something imaginative--his folks were
creative types. Lou gave him an idea. She picked out an
italic ampersand, Caslon or Baskerville I think, one with
flourishes. She shot it under a mezzotint screen and blew it
up so it filled half of the image area. She floated his
parents' first names on either side. It turned out elegant.
He sent a lot more business our way.
The garden went to hell. That had been Rennie's department.
Lou tried, she really tried. But the spinach bolted and the
lettuce went to seed too early. Slugs devoured the
primroses. The peach tree went sick--it dropped all the
leaves from its lower limbs and never got them back. Lou got
a book out of the library to show her how to prune the rose
bushes, but they never did look right again.