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The Fundamentals of Typography [Paperback]

Gavin Ambrose , Paul Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Sep 2011 294041176X 978-2940411764 2
The Fundamentals of Typography (second edition) is an updated version of the popular first edition of this book, in which Ambrose and Harris introduce the fundamental principles of typographic theory and practice. It covers a wide range of subjects, including the history of typography, typographic detailing and the use of creative typography across a range of media. Packed with clear explanations, expanded illustrations and historical and contemporary examples from leading practitioners around the world, this book offers an essential guide to the subject of typography and its role within graphic design. The second edition includes considerable new and revised content from the authors, including new case studies and student exercises.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: AVA Publishing; 2 edition (26 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 294041176X
  • ISBN-13: 978-2940411764
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 20.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'Very useful book, the anatomy of typography graphics were used as mandatory course material. Great list of resources in the back, extremely detailed captions and comments. All around a fantastic book.' --Irina Lee, State University of New York at Farmingdale, USA

About the Author

Gavin Ambrose is a practising graphic designer. His current commercial practice includes clients from the arts sector, publishers and advertising agencies. Paul Harris is a freelance writer and editor. His work has appeared extensively in magazines and journals on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 11 Jan 2008
By Ed
This book looked good when I flicked through it on the shelf and covers a number of useful concepts which I appreciated as a newcomer to typography. Reading it cover to cover, however, revealed a number of inaccurate assertions (including the page on Asian languages and also the golden section) which made me worry whether there were other areas which weren't entirely correct. The language is also a little trudging which is acceptable for use as a reference book but makes it dull to read in large chunks at a time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Typography handbook 28 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book records the history of type. From that used by the Romans, through until today.

Plus it provides a superb visual reference for all type fonts and their varients such as light, medium bold and extra bold and or narrrow, normal, wide and extra wide. That our now availble to computer users supplied with their programes such as Microsoft Word or Power point, or Adobe Photoshop and Quark express.

It includes details of all papers sizes and the proof readers system of marking proofs for revision.

This is not a book to be read cover to cover but used like a dictionary or reference book.

It is beutifully presented and demands a permanent place on the desks of anyone in the advertising and or publishing industry. Or anyone who now has access and desire through the use of their own computer to produce leaflets, posters, greeting cards and personalised stationary.

The book would be cheap to buy if the publishers charged three times more for it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Balanced and a great starter for anyone 6 Aug 2010
By Alex Noble - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An Advertising Art Director the last 10 years, I guess that I have a pretty good understanding of Typography. But recently I decided to design a new font for a client from scratch. No easy feat it turned out (duh!) and thought that I might need a bit of a refresher in the fundamentals of Typography.

This book does the job well. I read it in a few hours on a plane and was surprised how much I had forgotten since college. I think this would be a great teaching aid and also a must have for any young Designer or Art Director starting out. The layout of the book also takes the reader on a nice journey, through the history of written language and typefaces. It then presents a good base of how Type should be laid out and some helpful fundamentals in composition and grid systems. It also clears the air rather well on font classification which is a right pain when one has to sort out a rather large library of fonts.

But overall it is what it says it is "The Fundamentals of Typography" and it is delivered in a concise and simple way which is what is important. Oh and not to forget it last of all it's very well written and was a joy to read.

So in conclusion I think there are a load of books out there dealing on the subject but this is as good and better than most on delivering the above.So a great book for anybody starting out or in my case dusting up the old memory banks of Design.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Attractive but flawed for beginners 5 April 2012
By Neil Midkiff - Published on
This is an attractive book with an appealing mix of text and images, but it has several flaws that make it confusing for beginners. Many times in the opening chapters, terms are used that have not yet been defined. "Sans serif" typefaces are introduced before a serif is illustrated, for example. Some definitions are quirky and at odds with history and commercial usage; the proposed distinction between a font and a typeface would confuse a user of, say, the Adobe catalog. Other definitions are just wrong: a ligature is not the crossbar or arm that joins a pair of letters, but two or more letters treated as a single unit, as if cast on the same metal type; ligatures such as the 'ae' and 'oe' combinations have no crossbar, for instance. Straight vertical "typewriter" single and double quotes are called primes, which are completely different angled marks (as properly used for feet and inches or angular minutes and seconds). And some illustrations are badly matched with their explanations, as in the depiction of small caps on page 83 (the two lines are in the reverse order of their description). The list of characters used for non-numeric footnote marks are supposed to be used in left-to-right order beginning with asterisk, but the accompanying illustration shows them in a vertical column, not in a row.
The case studies at the end of the first two chapters are logo designs that are purely drawn artwork, and have nothing to do with the discussions of type in the surrounding text, so seem badly placed in the learning sequence.
All in all, I wanted to like this book but wouldn't recommend it as a textbook because of its many quirks and mistakes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book. 9 Aug 2012
By RichArtze - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book for a class right.... and i'm like "aight, another text book, its prob gonna suck to read" NOPE.
I've kept this book for 2 years now and continue to go back to it for its easy readability and useful information.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book. 27 April 2014
By Landon B. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Had to get this book for a typography class. Pretty much one of the only books I still reference and use, it is a great purchase for designers.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Heart Typography 11 Jun 2013
By chiapetsrcool - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love typography, this book is for you. You can get all nerdy with the origin of written language along with learning all of the specific names for every part of type. What's the difference between a font and a typeface? This book will tell you!
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