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The Elements of Typographic Style [Paperback]

Robert Bringhurst
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2004
Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough exploration of the newest innovations in intelligent font technology, and is a must-have for graphic artists, editors, or anyone working with the printed page using digital or traditional methods.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Elements of Typographic Style + Thinking with Type, Second Revised and Expanded Edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students (Design Briefs)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hartley & Marks Publishers (1 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881792063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881792065
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 272,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful but quirky 19 Sep 2008
By Jon
Format:Paperback
This is a very useful book, but sometimes rather opinionated. For instance, Bringhurst passionately detests 'titling figures' that is, numbers of even height set on the line, 01234... He wants us to always use 'text figures', numerals that I can't show here, where the tails of 4 and 9 hang below the line, and 8 is taller than the rest. He scorns titling figures as 'middle-class' and 'illiterate', fit only for classified ads.

He is also inconsistent in his prejudices. Italic faces were first made in the middle ages only in lower case, so had to be used with upright capitals and brackets etc. Bringhurst tells us that because of this history, we must today always use upright, not sloped, brackets with italics. But he quietly accepts and uses sloped capitals with italics in his own book.

Despite these oddities, this is an enlightening and helpful book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just lovely 13 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
I bought this book when I became (briefly) the editor of a corporate newsletter some years ago. It was the only useful purchase I made, and served to open up whole new typographic vistas that I didn't even know existed. But be warned it deals exclusively in subtlety and artifice - there is no post-modernist digital age brashness here - but learn the lessons and you will become very, very good, without anyone else ever knowing how. The book is both witty and enjoyably informative, a combination that means it's an easy read from cover to cover. And it's own typography is beyond reproach, quite beautiful.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE best book on type you will ever read 30 Jun 2005
Format:Hardcover
I've got dozens of books about type and typography. This is by far the best. It is clear, intelligent, scholarly and practical. It is also beautifully written, well designed and often downright funny.
If you know a designer or typophile who doesn't own this yet, buy it for them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a marvellous book, and dangerous! 19 Jan 2010
By BrentL
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book. First of all, it is beautiful: beautifully typeset and laid out in a beautiful format on beautiful paper. Prof. Bringhurst's love of his subject, clearly witnessed by the level of detail of his exposition, makes this book a delight to read both as a narrative, binding together the historic and modern arts of typography and booksetting, and as a reference source from well before mutton to well after pilcrow.

Why, then, do I say it is dangerous? Simply this: I makes me completely dissatisfied with every piece of electronic publishing I have ever done. Books, manuals, papers, letters, business cards: all mediocre scratchings.

Prof. Bringhurst is, in this book, a master of the art of damnation through faint praise. His analysis of the broken kerning of Times New Roman, while quite reserved and polite, show by clear example just how badly broken it is -- it needs no other condemnation -- and should make all those users of MS Word's default font family squirm at their keyboards.

Notable, too, by their complete absence, are a number of font families that many of us take for granted, but I won't name them here, except for Comic Sans. The author is not writing for web users, though he does mention, briefly and adequately, the problems of showing a decent text on a computer screen. I suspect his silence is to draw a veil over what for him must be some of the most depressing items of typographic experience.

Finally, this book is not for everyone. It needs a little persistence to read; and you will need a degree of curiosity about at least one aspect of fonts and typesetting to enjoy it. But given these pre-requisites, enjoyment is guaranteed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all student designers must have this book 21 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
read and understand what makes great design . . . the secret is in typography . . . often overlooked by people yet done properly it completes the visual message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Typographers Reference 28 Aug 2011
By typo
Format:Paperback
I received this book on time and immediately started reading it. I found the book compelling reading as the further I read, the more it made sense.

Some of the theoretical elements do not appear to be well explained to me and it's necessary to use blind faith to believe what the book says about some proportions (as it is not entirely clear how and when these should be applied), but overall, a very worthwhile book and a great addition to the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brilliant book which is a must for all typographers
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best typography book I own.
This is an absolute must for any graphic designer or anyone interested in typography. The content is a superb overview of everything you need to know. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anna Surridge
5.0 out of 5 stars book
bought for my son he loves it !!
book arrived in plenty of time, he loved it and its great for uni
Published 18 months ago by Esma Coffey
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
very useful, what i was looking for in a typography book.

It's a must have for designers interested in typography and history.
Published 19 months ago by Julio E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
This is a brilliant book which is well written and easy to understand. Typographic principles well explained with fantastic examples. Read more
Published on 21 April 2012 by Teri
5.0 out of 5 stars Really readable and interesting
You have to be font/typography crazy to buy this, but if you are it is a 'no brainer' - detailed, interesting and helpful and written in an attractive style that keeps you reading. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2012 by Graham Hind
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good book
In this book typography gets all it's glory-every detail and aspect is examined at its extreme. One thing i liked a lot, is the reference to historical facts, so, from a point of... Read more
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by DIMITRIS PAPAGEORGIOU
5.0 out of 5 stars It is an essential text on the subject
I bought this book several years ago, and read through it then with interest. It certainly helped me to correct my worst typographic mistakes. Read more
Published on 4 Nov 2011 by AndrewC
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