octavo 86.1 editorial — written by s.j. with input from mark holt,
   hamish muir and michael burke, the editorial of the first issue of
   octavo set out the conceptual framework of the typographic journal.
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Letterforms surround us in our daily lives. They permeate very aspect
of the visual environment and play an essential role in our
information-hungry society. The way in which we are presented with
information can substantially affect how we absorb it; thought and
meaning are diluted by poor arrangement of forms on the page, and
are similarly clarified, reinforced and elevated by skilful
composition. Typography is the point where content and form meet —
good typography is the successful union of the two. As information
technology promises to make everyone capable of designing and
producing printed documents, the study of the arrangement of visual
information on a given surface assumes a fresh significance, if we
are not to be blessed with yet more typographic mediocrity. Octavo
has evolved from a desire to see an independent publication which
acts as a serious forum for the discussion of matters both
contemporary and historical, relating to typographic design. In its
eight issues the journal will focus primarily on typography within
graphic design, but will also investigate the way in which
letterforms are used in the visual arts, poetry, architecture and the
environment, as well as looking at broader matters such as design
education. Each issue will retain the same format, but will differ in
design according to the content of the issue. Although Octavo 86.1
features mostly English work, later issues will be more international
in flavour — (it would be difficult to complete eight issues of a
publication with examples of good English typography. As a nation our