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E. Pirie (London, UK)
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The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (Penguin Classics)
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (Penguin Classics)
by G. K. Chesterton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.66

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, 25 July 2013
Chesterton describes this book as 'a very melodramatic sort of moonshine' in a postscript at the back of my edition and I have to agree. He protests that it is not supposed to be an allegory of God/good/evil (for that CS Lewis would seem subtly crafted by comparison). As a thriller, I found it weakly written in a heavy and now very dated style, with little depth. As anything else, it descended into the worst sort of sentimental tosh at the end.


The Geometry of Type: The Anatomy of 100 Essential Typefaces
The Geometry of Type: The Anatomy of 100 Essential Typefaces
by Erik Spiekermann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.89

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute pleasure, 10 Mar 2013
"When we enlarge a word or phrase that contains a typeface's most distinctive glyphs, we unearth all sorts of information about what makes that typeface tick." (from the Introduction)

I don't know of another book that celebrates the beauty and intricacy of good type design so successfully. On one level this is simply a book to sit back and enjoy from an aesthetic point of view. The typeface samples are large enough to really see the subtleties of each letterform (there is a generous large size sample word, and complete alphabet in smaller font) and appreciate the harmony of design between glyphs. The book is designed and set beautifully too.

On another level, it is a useful aid to choosing typefaces, and comparing alternatives from a similar genre. The author helpfully dispenses with the usual categories for a more nuanced and useful system of collating typefaces in families. So, rather than Sans Serif only, there are Grotesque Sans, Neo-Grotesque Sans, Gothic Sans, Geometric Sans, Humanist Sans, Neo-Humanist Sans. Choice is always going to be personal, and this shouldn't be looked to as a comprehensive reference; rather, a selection "made with an emphasis on versatility and practical use". Amongst the usual suspects are some gems which I at least wasn't familiar with e.g. Baskerville Original by Frantisek Storm and Nitti by Pieter van Rosmalen. At times in the later sections there seems to be a skew towards H&FJ, but that shouldn't be surprising given the quality of their output, and there are plenty of examples from smaller foundries and individual designers.

All in all, if you love type you will love this book.


Graphic Design: A Concise History (World of Art)
Graphic Design: A Concise History (World of Art)
by Richard Hollis
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good historical overview, 10 Dec 2012
This is not a picture book. It is a history of graphic design up to the 1970's in fairly small format, illustrated with mostly small black and white photos. The narrative is not in depth on any one genre or period - how could it be when it covers a century of so much change? But if you want an overview with some intelligent throught on the trends, connections and people, then I recommend it.


1000 Fonts
1000 Fonts
by Bob Gordon
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Oddly sloppy, but a useful reference, 7 July 2012
This review is from: 1000 Fonts (Hardcover)
This is a useful reference, with 1,000 typefaces covering the usual categories: serif, sans-serif, display, script etc. I don't know of another book with this good a range of typefaces. It makes typeface identification possible if not easy (compared to say FontFont's vast typeface bible). But it could have been so much better. Each typeface has a reasonably large size full alphabet in caps/lowercase/numbers and then 2 or more text samples in a couple of weights. All very well, except that the alphabet sample is not always in a sensible font e.g. Gotham is in Ultra, which makes identification of the more normal weights a bit haphazard. Many typefaces do not benefit in the slightest from text samples, particularly the Display section, but the compilers clearly felt constrained by the book format rather than varying it sensibly to make best use of space (e.g. for Display typefaces dispensing with the text sample and having a couple of larger size Display samples). Most bizarre are the scarce samples of "real world" usage. Gotham again: a tiny copy of a poster which has no discernible use of Gotham; many samples where the text is so small that it is useless as an example of the typeface. I don't regret buying this, but what a shame the compilers could not have put a bit more thought and care into it.


Ashes to Ashes: Complete BBC Series 1 [2008] [DVD]
Ashes to Ashes: Complete BBC Series 1 [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Philip Glenister
Price: 8.25

9 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How disappointing, 21 Feb 2009
Had high hopes after the original, well written and overall excellent Life on Mars, but was shocked by how abysmal this was in comparison. Lazy screenwriting in the Police Academy 14 mode (i.e. "here's Gene being macho", "here's an 80's hit you can sing along to" but with no coherence to hold it together: you'd have to be very drunk and drifting in and out of consciousness to get on the right level). Sadly Keeley Hawes does not have the charisma to hold centre stage, but she's fighting a losing battle to start with. It was so bad I could barely make it through the first episode. Do yourself a favour and take your hard earned cash elsewhere.


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