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The Non-designer's Type Book: Create Professional Level Type on Your Computer [Paperback]

Robin Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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The Non-Designer's Type Book: Insights and Techniques for Creating Professional-Level Type The Non-Designer's Type Book: Insights and Techniques for Creating Professional-Level Type 4.0 out of 5 stars (6)
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Book Description

24 July 1998

This latest addition to Robin Williams' Non-Designers line of books not only defines the principles governing type but explains the logic behind them so readers can understand and see what looks best and why. Armed with this knowledge, and putting into practice the secrets Robin reveals for making type readable and artistic, readers can then go on to create beautiful, sophisticated, professional-looking pages on their computers for output as hard copy or for use on Web pages.

Each short chapter explores a different type secret including use of evocative typography, tailoring typeface to project, working with spacing, punctuation marks, special characters, fonts, justification, and much more. It is written in the lively, engaging style that has made Williams one of the most popular computer authors today. And it uses numerous examples to illustrate the subtle details that make the difference between good and sophisticated use of type. The non-platform specific, non-software specific approach to the book makes this a must-have for any designer's bookshelf - from type novices to more experienced graphic designers and typesetters.

Please note! If you've read Beyond the Mac is not a typewriter then you don't need this book. This book is almost exactly the same as Beyond the Mac is not a typewriter.



Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (24 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201353679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201353679
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 17.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 702,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

his latest addition to Robin Williams' Non-Designers line of books not only defines the principles governing type but explains the logic behind them so readers can understand and see what looks best and why. Armed with this knowledge, and putting into practice the secrets Robin reveals for making type readable and artistic, readers can then go on to create beautiful, sophisticated, professional-looking pages on their computers for output as hard copy or for use on Web pages.

Each short chapter explores a different type secret including use of evocative typography, tailoring typeface to project, working with spacing, punctuation marks, special characters, fonts, justification, and much more. It is written in the lively, engaging style that has made Williams one of the most popular computer authors today. And it uses numerous examples to illustrate the subtle details that make the difference between good and sophisticated use of type. The non-platform specific, non-software specific approach to the book makes this a must-have for any designer¿s bookshelf—from type novices to more experienced graphic designers and typesetters.

About the Author

Robin Williams is a fourth-generation Californian on both sides, born in Berkeley and raised in the Bay Area. She lived in Sonoma County for 15 years, then in 1993, she packed up her kids, the dog, and two cats and moved to New Mexico.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Robin Williams covers just what you really need to know in this short book. No useless chatter, just important information in a what-to-do and what-not-to-do manner with just the perfect dash of sarcasm and humour to create a relaxed atmosphere for learning.
The book begins with a bit of the history and structure of fonts. Very important information for beginners. But it immediately gets into information which results in an immediate improvement in your work whether you are a typesetter or graphic designer. You would now know what makes for tacky typography and what rules you could break to create a more artistic, daring, and edgy piece of work.
Every topic is accompanied by an illustration of the wrong way and the right way to do things and a list of the fonts used in the illustration (VERY HELPFUL!)
This is definitely a must-have book for anyone in the world of print media.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable and educational book 20 April 2001
Format:Paperback
Robin Williams is an enjoyable writer. This book, as are her others, is clear and unpatronising in its approach to design. She provides visual examples of each phase in the design process as well careful explanations. Her style allows for personal interpretation rather than giving a definitive solution to all design problems. It is a bit like being back at school with a good teacher explaining, demonstrating and then letting you have a go. If you are a designer looking for ideas, a non designer needing help with designing pages or just interested in the visual world around us then you will enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but often misleading 24 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a handy basic introduction to type design issues. But it is marred by some of the author's eccentric beliefs, stated as facts.

First of all, whatever you think of Helvetica (and I'm not a fan), I don't think it's showing any signs of fading from our public spaces, more's the pity.

Second (and related to the above), her fondness for wacky, eye-catching, "novelty" typefaces is going to lead many people in quite the wrong direction. If you're designing a club flyer or a magazine ad., maybe it's useful advice; but, if taken to heart by a beginner, it would be a disaster for the production of readable, proportioned, pleasing typography in long texts. As for her defence - without cautionary words - of the use of bold italics for emphasis: I'm afraid that just makes me shudder! As a book editor as well as a typesetter myself, I can't tell you how many hours I've had to waste removing such typographical detritus from the texts of authors who should have known better. Now I know where they might have got the idea from...

Finally, a smaller point, which may be to do with a difference between US and British usage, but of which UK users of this book should therefore be aware. To my mind, it is ugly and unwarranted (I'll just come right out and say it: illiterate!) to follow an italicised word or phrase contained within a roman paragraph with italic punctuation (or bold with bold, or whatever - see p. 67). Punctuation outside an emphasised phrase does not belong to that phrase, but forms part of the scaffolding that holds the phrase in place. Like all scaffolding, it shouldn't bend under the influence of what it's supporting, but should damn well stay put! (Don't just take my word for this - see section 6.
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