A typographical homage to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species shows the book’s own evolution



The evolving format of the new book allows you to see all of the changes Darwin made over 13 years, from 1859 to 1872, as he tested, revised, and better understood his own theories and responded to his criticisms.

Covering 964 pages, printed on 30 g / m² biblical paper (a reference to an “atheist bible”, according to Simon) and printed with black ink and special metallic bronze, this soft-bound book is not only a treasure for Darwin fans who uncover a hidden story; it is also a beautiful tribute to typography and design. And everything is settled from the original Victorian letterpress composition of the final edition printed in 1872.

Although similar editions have been made over several decades, Simon’s version is unique in that it does not read like a traditional book: you see the full text of the final edition of Darwin’s book posted on the right page sheet and all the corresponding changes it makes shown on the left.

What you end up seeing are punctuation marks, words, sentences, and paragraphs that have been lost or changed over the past 162 years. This is an incredible achievement for Simon who started the project while studying Typographic Graphic Media Design at the London College of Communication in 2010. “Combining my interest in Darwin’s story of evolution and printing typographic and book design, I started with a rough theme for this project, ”he tells us.“ Eventually it became clear to me that I wanted to create a book that visualizes the ‘evolution’ of the story about evolution. By highlighting all of these changes between each of the six editions. “

It wasn’t until a few years later that Simon decided to revisit the project, completing the remaining 13 chapters to complete and publish the book. “The research and design of the remaining chapters took me several years. During this time, I analyzed and compared by hand each of the six editions simultaneously to keep up with the changes and changes made between the different editions,” Simon continues. .

“Once this step was completed, I then composed the ‘lost text’ on the left page and to match the final text of the book on the right page. All of this had to be done manually in order to recreate the layout. exact page of the hard-pressed edition of the book published in 1872. “

You can purchase Simon Phillipson’s typography-inspired variorum edition on the origin of species at www.simonphillipson.com. And follow her story on Instagram @DarwinEditions Where Twitter.



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