The Book les principes de l’architecture has almost 800 pages which contain mostly text. The Text has four main paragraphs one for architecture, sculpting and painting at the end there is a dictionary. The paragraphs differ quite a bit in length. There are 302 pages about architecture, 94 about sculpting and only 67 about painting. The last 335 pages contain the dictionary. There are 63 copperplate engravings.
The three main parts are divided in more subparagraphs. Still there all written in continuous Text. At the end of each subparagraph there is often an exemplary illustration. The Engraving is always page filling and paired with an explanatory table.
The engravings contain mostly working tools or working spaces. They are very clean achieved by showing the subject often without context and keeping the number of lines as low as possible. While still containing a lot of details. The illustrations support the Text but don’t build the main part. There is quite a lot of Text between each illustration. They mostly show a list of details for example different types of hammer or multiple wood joints.
The font is even today still good readable. There are no embellishments and the size stays the same over the hole book. The text has a very compact characteristic. Established with no empty rows and the possible print space is used to the maximum. While the Text is really compact there is a big page margin. Over time a collation of personal notes were written in that empty space.
The main use of the book is to pass on information. There are no fancy Titles written in calligraphy nor are there any “beautiful” drawings of architecture or sculpture. Nevertheless, the information on how to do them.