“Half title” is a lone leaf displaying only the book’s title and no other identifying details about its author, appearing at the front of a book. This initial page serves as an early encounter for readers. It can function independently as a promotional tool, mainly when the author already boasts recognition.
When applicable, the half-title may feature additional elements such as subtitles or volume numbers if it is part of a more extensive series. It might also showcase the name of an esteemed illustrator or translator.
Directly following the half-title is the frontispiece, followed by the title page, which carries all pertinent identification information, including the author’s name, full title (including any subtitle), publisher’s name, and copyright details.
The purpose of the half-title effectively accomplishes two objectives. First and foremost, it grants readers swift comprehension regarding content and authorship. Secondly, it instills within them eager anticipation for what lies ahead within its pages.
Design-wise, simplicity reigns supreme on this page, with clean text allowing ample focus on capturing attention through an eye-catching rendition of its singular purpose: presenting the book’s overt subject matter. To complete this concise impression, the author’s name often rests beneath smaller font sizes.
Of course, with numerous components assembling it, known as front matter—a compilation featuring primary items like title pages, copyright notices, dedications, and tables of contents—prospective readers receive comprehensive knowledge about their chosen read while mentally priming themselves for forthcoming literary endeavors.