What happens when 70 graphic designers redesign the first page of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations?” Well, as you can see below, GraphicDesign& found out and has released an entire book dedicated to this atypical design prompt.

The book, Page 1: Great Expectations, includes contributions from the likes of Tony Chambers of Wallpaper* and Luke Hayman of Pentagram, and is certainly worth a look, if only to witness the power of typography to change the tone of text.

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You’ll have to buy the book ($15) to see everything, but the images above and below should you a good idea of what it’s all about. The concept of introducing experimental typography into a very traditional realm of literature makes for interesting results. Imagine an entire book that was set in type like this!

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From the creators:

Crafted to engage the culturally curious, Page 1: Great Expectations collects the responses of 70 international graphic designers when posed with the same brief – to design and lay out the first page of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, a text chosen in part because it directly references lettering as Pip searches for clues about his family from the letterforms inscribed on their tombstone. The brief encouraged the 70 contributors to explore, challenge or celebrate the conventions of book typography. Each layout is accompanied by a short rationale explaining the designer’s decision-making process.

Page 1 is not just a book for graphic designers, it reveals the power typography has to influence and affect the way we all interpret a text. Many readers will be surprised by the attention to detail and level of engagement with the narrative on display, and aficionados of Dickens will be charmed by the idiosyncratic approaches to this much-loved text.

➤ Page 1: Great Expectations