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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly Flawed, 16 Nov 2013
By 
Jonathan Posner (LONDON, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Field Guide to Typography: Typefaces in the Urban Landscape (Hardcover)
What a brilliant idea for a book about typography. And, at first glance, how brilliantly designed and executed.

Arranged in alphabetical order I decided to read about one font a day. Yet I've only got as far as Bembo and I almost want to throw this book across the room. For a typeface (Archer) that's suddenly come into fashion, the authors appear to be too lazy to look beyond examples from a just single brand, to which they devote no fewer than three photographs and all of them displaying upper case. Yet when they describe the font's distinguishing features on the opposite page they spend most of the paragraph talking about the various lower-case letters. Inexcusable.

Three pages further on, and here's Bembo: "double-storey lower-case 'a'", it says. I wonder what that looks like, it having been pointed out specifically. But for a typeface that's been around since 1495 you'd think that their photographer might have been able to find a lower-case word somewhere as an example (or for the book's editor to have insisted on one.) But oh no: one single photograph of the National Gallery signage, and of course it's all in upper-case.

Now I dread turning the remaining 372 pages (that's half a year!) What a shame. This is otherwise a superbly-conceived book, making the study of typography interesting and accessible to all. If my disappointment seems out of proportion it's because an opportunity has been missed (through rushing? carelessness?) to make this a definitive reference. Someone needs to get to work on the second edition pronto and then we'll have something approaching the perfect book.
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The Field Guide to Typography: Typefaces in the Urban Landscape
The Field Guide to Typography: Typefaces in the Urban Landscape by Stephen Coles (Hardcover - 2 Sep 2013)
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