This book was carefully assembled from of a series of articles I wrote called "The Principles of Design" for The Island Printer. The ideas in it however are not uniquely mine. I got them from Dr. Denman W. Ross and if you were familiar with his work, you'd recognize this. We both taught at Harvard in 1901 and it is from him I derived the origins of my ideas about design and to him that I owe my enthusiasm for the subject.
Many people have written many times about design. Some books are written about the history of design, others about the anatomy of patterns or the conventionalization of natural forms or the application of design. Too many of these books assume a prior knowledge of design. With this book I intend to provide a more elementary foundation of design.
Good design can be boiled down to the proper relation between lines and areas. As a student your first concern should be the simple principles of this relationship. I published this book to lay out these principles for you and also present you with some exercises, leading from simple to complex. If the book awakens you to seeing differently and expressing yourself differently it will have served it's purpose.
-Earnest A. Batchelder
translated for the 90's by C. Casady