In 1998 the author published a blueprint for his research in the ornamentation of early modern books in Quaerendo, then under the supervision of Ton van Uchelen. In 2007 this research resulted in a thesis on the subject called De beer is los (Foxes on the Loose). In this special edition of Quaerendo a new blueprint is presented. This time it is for research on layout. Inspired by the writings of his promotor, Professor Janssen and in close cooperation with his Belgian colleague Goran Proot, the author proposes to develop a computer-assisted model for layout that can be used to examine the interaction between ideas and the pages on which these are presented. The Idea of a book is derived from the famous Dutch typographer Huib van Krimpen (1917-2002). Early modern books will be compared to this ‘ideal book’ to find out if and how we can define progress in book design, and the circumstances that influenced it.