In his article on book proportions, Tschichold says: ‘A line has eight to twelve words, more is wrong.’ This is a rule. Rules want to be observed because they can be broken: I can make longer lines.
Tschichold’s rule might be changed into a law: Lines of more than twelve words impair legibility. My law accepts the condition of the rule with the significant difference that it does not say what is wrong, but what happens. A law cannot be broken because it does not prescribe anything. It only predicts illegibility when lines exceed the limit of twelve words, leaving the responsibility for legibility to the designer: If the law holds, I cannot make longer lines without impairing legibility.
A rule paralyses discussion; a law provokes discussion by encouraging attempts to refute it. A law stimulates the student to find instances for which it is invalid, which eventually results in a better law with a wider scope. The law sends its disciples to the front-line; rules entrench them. The rule promises paradise, but in obedient submission. The law promises the wilderness, but in freedom.
2. Дмитрий Кирсанов в 1994 году придумал программу «Свежий взгляд» для поиска повторов в тексте. Я начал ей пользоваться месяц назад.
3. Швейцарский дизайнер Людовик Балланд.