A Modern Critique for an Ancient Manuscript [University of Central Oklahoma]
Keywords:Illuminated manuscripts, Celtic, Critique
The book most widely considered the epitome of Celtic illuminated manuscripts, The Book of Kells, is under review. This review will be conducted by critiquing the entire manuscript and putting it up to the design standards of today. The review consists of looking critically at the use of color, the readability of the writing, the use of decorative elements, and the effectiveness of the style which everything is illustrated in. During the course of the review it has been concluded that the Celtic people had a fine grasp on getting color onto the paper, however, lacked the knowledge to be able to use the colors effectively. The readability of the writing is less than easy. This being because of the use of thick black writing along with the need to connect almost every letter. The decorations and illustrations flung throughout the manuscript are pleasant distractions from the barely readable text. The readability of the illustrations was lacking also. When looking at the more involved illustrations they become a wall of color because of the lack of depth in each picture. The Book of Kells is a marvelous piece of history, and through its shortcomings the design community has been able to learn about the importance of choosing legible typefaces and that color scheme is an extremely important part of the design process.
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