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An Essay on Typography (Penguin Modern Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141393564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141393568
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.3 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By amacater on 17 Mar. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent essay: some marvellous quotations and illustrations. For fans of type, primarily, though there are also some good barbed comments buried in there. Short, pithy - easily read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Conductor71 on 19 April 2014
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Although this essay is nominally about Typography, it is underneath an elegant and concise discourse on the hand-made product in a time of mass production. Written in 1931, before the machine had totally taken over all production, when the term hand-made meant something (and something expensive), Gill's words now take on an elegiac feel. Even so, he makes valuable distinctions between the business of manufacturing anything and the pleasure of making something.
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A nice little artefact as well as an engaging read. The cover font (in Gill Sans-the London Underground typeface) and that of the body text (Gill's other typeface, Joanna), along with the well-justified paragraphs, make a neat, attractive container for Gill's discussion about the value of handmade arts and crafts, the machine-made goods that gradually edged them out, and the advantages and inconveniences of both approaches.
Inviting the reader to think about beauty, craftsmanship and factory manufacturing, the development of typefaces and styles, why children should be taught shorthand and phonography to improve handwriting and the limits that impose themselves on the creativity of the assembly-line worker and the lone artist or artisan, the Essay makes an interesting if dated argument for the moral virtues of craftsmanship and the DIY ethic that Gill espoused elsewhere.
An interesting little work; students and professionals in graphic design, as well as the simply curious will find this an engaging book.
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Great book, amazing content. Lots and lots of interesting stuff you usually take for granted. Unfortunately I’ve found myself cringing over some of the type set in this book. It’s rather ironic that a book about typography has so many typography and editorial errors. Some hyphens dividing words mid-line, possibly because the layout was changed overtime and the previously hand divided word skipped to the next line or something similar. A random single line with the character “g” at page 80, sometimes pilcrows mark the start of a paragraph with the addition of a new line, some others they don’t — as used in an old style book — and details like those look quite uncared for. I know of most of Eric Giil’s mannerisms such as using “tho’” and the ampersand a lot even when not necessary but some are just plain careless.
I found it quite annoying, albeit an extremely good content.
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