Source and activity 6

Printers' proof of 'Lanark'

Page of proofs for 'Lanark'.
View larger proof image

Proofs are created by printers before a book is published so that editors and authors can make corrections.

This proof for 'Lanark' demonstrates the importance of page layout and design in Alasdair Gray's work.

Here he highlights that the short quote in capitals and the long pieces of speech lower on the page should have very wide margins compared to the main narrative.

The manuscript of 'Lanark' is held by Glasgow University Library.


Suggested activity

Source 4, source 5 and source 6 can be used together to demonstrate the process of publishing, proofing, and the importance of page layout and design.

Each source illustrates a different stage producing a final version of 'Lanark' for publication, and you might like to compare them with the most recent printed edition (Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2007, pages 448-450).

This source shows a proof page produced by the printer, with author's edits. Sources 4 and 5 show a page from the handwritten manuscript, and an extract from a letter which Alasdair Gray wrote to his publisher, including his own instructions relating to design, layout, and typography.

In each case, it's clear that Gray has a specific vision for the way in which the text should be presented in the final, printed version.

Do you think that the page layout and design has any impact on the meaning, or highlights important elements of the text?


Themes in focus - Alasdair Gray

Find out more about Alasdair Gray in our collections

The Alasdair Gray Archive is listed under 'G' in our Guide to Manuscripts Collections.


Search our catalogue for books by or about Alasdair Gray.


Visit the Moving Image Archive site to find films inspired by, featuring, or about Alasdair Gray, including a clip of the film ‘Faces’ using masks made by Gray.

Alasdair Gray on the web

Visit Alasdair Gray’s own website for lots of information.


Find out more about the ‘Lanark’ manuscript held at Glasgow University Library.

Library learning for you

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