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Reed Reibstein
Product leader and design manager. Letterform enthusiast.

Analyzing “diminuendo” in its major incipit pages

Only in light of the preternatural majesty of the Book of Kells do the Lindisfarne Gospels appear less than divine. Written and illuminated around the second decade of the eighth century, the volume astounds, its intricate decoration, brilliant hues, and inventive shapes livening page after page. Along with the intricately geometric “carpet pages,” the six major “incipit pages” that open the most crucial sections present the scribe’s genius at its height.

The “Liber generationis” incipit page of Matthew. By Eadfrith of Lindisfarne (presumed). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

An enormous initial or monogram, filled and interwoven with ornament, dominates each…

1604/5. Printed by James Roberts. Published by Nicholas Ling.

James Roberts passed up the opportunity to print the first edition of Hamlet. He held the license for the play from the Stationer’s Company, the guild for members of the printing and publishing trade, making him the text’s owner. Yet he allowed Valentine Simmes to print the first version for publishers Nicholas Ling and John Trundle in 1603.

This scan of the second quarto’s title page and all others are from the Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection.

That Roberts would forgo printing this dramatic masterpiece seems inconceivable in hindsight; a common narrative has been instead that Ling and Trundle pirated Hamlet, a story aided by this first edition’s dramatically cut…

Quartz has a new design (version 3.0), including a real homepage for the first time. Senior Editor Zach Seward explains the changes they’ve made across the site in detail here, but I wanted to note six homepage features that struck me in particular.

The homepage focuses on one lead story, giving it prominent treatment far above all others. Visitors won’t feel overwhelmed by a hundred headlines jockeying for attention. And if that lead story doesn’t capture every single person’s attention, they can scroll to see more pieces.

Reed Reibstein

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