Friday, January 11, 2013

Simon Garfield: Just My Type

Just My Type is a book about fonts. And these days most people have a vague idea what fonts are, if only because they see the word (occasionally) on their word processor.

Well, a whole book about fonts may not be your thing but this is interesting enough, even for the non-professional. It's a series of short essays, about the designers of type, the folk who choose them for specific purposes, and all like that. It's a good bedside book -- you can read the odd chunk before going to sleep.

Of course you do have to be a bit weird to be interested in fonts. But if you're going to use CreateSpace or Lulu or something to produce actual printed books, as opposed to ebooks, then you're going to have to take an interest to some extent.

If you're looking for a practical book that gives you a list of suggested fonts for various different purposes, then this isn't it. But then it doesn't claim to be.

For something similar, but a bit more in-depth, perhaps, try Simon Loxley's Type: the Secret History of Letters. And for those who are actually designing a printed book, Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style is indispensable.


Gladys Hobson said...

I'm sure the book exhibits a 'font' of wisdom! Sounds good for those who enjoy a choice of presentation.

William G. Giery said...

In the 60s and 70s, Dr. Chilton Bush, who was the dean of UCLA's Journalism School, did a series of monographs on the aesthetic quality of type-faces for the Research Institute of the American Newspaper Publishers Association. I edited most of Dr. Bush's work for the Association. Mr. Garfield might be interested in obtaining copies of his publication. By the way, ANPA is now the Newspaper Association, based in Reston, VA.

Hail Damage Claim said...

If you love all things type related, you will love this book. It includes fascinating stories about type designers and the history of specific typefaces. This is my new favorite book, and it will sit on my bookshelf next to my second favorite book, A History of Graphic Design by Meggs. Beautifully written, and an essential resource for anyone who teaches typography.

Have you viewed Alaskan Brown Bear Hunts guided said...

It is a book as much about people as it is about fonts. It is a survey of font history, pop culture and tiny nuances which, like serifs, have impacts greatly out of proportion to their size. It is highly recommended to anyone who loves books and just as highly recommended to anyone who likes a good story, well told.