The book regole generali di architettura from Sebastiano Serlio starts with a striking front page. The print not only presents the extended title and the author of the book it also reveals the topic of the book by its imposing illustration. The image shows the entrance to a Roman temple with columns and an ornate gable, only that this Roman temple is richly decorated with all kinds of ornaments and statues that do not originate from the Romans but seem to be a reinterpretation of ancient motifs.
The following pages are an introduction by the publisher, where he amongst other things thanks the sponsors. This text is written in grouped style. The part where the actual topic is being introduced, starts with a text and an illustration of all five orders of columns.
The structure of pages; text followed by a descriptive image, runs through the entire book. Later the individual orders are examined in detail. For each of these styles there are architectural examples where the described rules are applied.
The descriptive images throughout the book are made by himself and play an important role in transmitting this topic. But since the text and the images are so related, there are no further commentaries required to understand the architectural drawings.
The arrangement of texts and pictures confirm what the title of the book already gives away: The book is a technical book in which generally applicable rules are listed. But since the architectural drawings are easy to read and do not contain any difficult technical details, this book is also made for people, who do not have detailed knowledge of the subject.