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on 25 February 2005
Serious designers who are beginning their trade, or old hats who might need to be refreshed in typography can benefit from Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style."
Bringhurst has brought us a thrifty tome of typography. Succinct, he isn't bound to entertain the reader, but educate him.
His glossary of typographic terms will bring you into the know about apertures, dot leaders, nuts and muttons.
Just as useful is his thorough appendix of sorts and characters. With an image of the characters, he explains in a few sentences what characters is when it is to be used properly. He distinguishes acutes from graves from primes from hois from apostrophes. Adjacent to this lexicon is a quick visual index of alphabetic character. This section alone was worth the price for me.
The real science of "The Elements of Typographic Style" is in Bringhurst's bulk of explanations of letter construction, page composition, defining and given shorts histories of classic fonts as seen in specimen books, a great chapter on analphabetic symbols.
I fully recommend this book. Artists, designers, illustrators all should have a copy of this. It reads easier than you might suspect, and would serve as a fine textbook. Writers should read it for no other reason than it is interesting, but to also have pity on our poor designers who must make our words look nice.
Anthony Trendl
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on 24 August 2003
A beautifully written book and a pleasure to read. Herman Zapf is quoted on the back cover "All desktop typographers should study this book...", and I agree with him. If you design anything using type you should heed the great Mr Zapf's adice.
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on 23 December 2001
This book searches for the deep and hidden reasons of typographical choices.

The mixing of type, the size and layout of a page, the matching between type and text are explained in terms of conceptual reasons which go far beyond the more down-to-earth perceptive approach typographers usually take.
For instance, the size of pages is linked to the intervals of music (octave, fourth, and so on) and to the Fibonacci series and, of course, to the golden section.
It is, therefore, a pythagoric vision of typography.
I think practical people will dislike it and consider it unnecessarily affected and, speaking for myself, I considered it too far fetched.
But because the author is very clear and writes well, you are never left in doubt about what he means, and, therefore, you can make up your mind as to accept or rejects his views.
Even if I found the arguments artificial, the fact remains that it is plenty of good advice on all the finer points of typography and, more than that, it is one of the really beautifull recent books I have read.
So, if you choose to judge the author by the results he achieves and not for the reasons he claims are the cause of that achievement, you can only respect and admire the author and his principles.
Certainly a must.
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on 28 August 2011
I received this book on time and immediately started reading it. I found the book compelling reading as the further I read, the more it made sense.

Some of the theoretical elements do not appear to be well explained to me and it's necessary to use blind faith to believe what the book says about some proportions (as it is not entirely clear how and when these should be applied), but overall, a very worthwhile book and a great addition to the subject.
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on 21 September 2011
read and understand what makes great design . . . the secret is in typography . . . often overlooked by people yet done properly it completes the visual message.
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on 4 November 2011
I bought this book several years ago, and read through it then with interest. It certainly helped me to correct my worst typographic mistakes. It is, however, as a practical guide and constant reference where it scores. It is great to have a book that exhibits strong opinions, particularly when he goes to lengths to justify what he says. He is an author who seems to be fascinated by typography. It is not to be followed slavishly but treated with the same appreciation as one would give to a witty and opinionated guest.
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on 10 February 2014
This is an absolute must for any graphic designer or anyone interested in typography. The content is a superb overview of everything you need to know. The book itself is gorgeously designed and produced, lovely smooth paper. It is written beautifully too, I could easily sit and read this book. Really, I cannot rate it highly enough.
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on 24 August 2003
A beautifully written book and a pleasure to read. Herman Zapf is quoted on the back cover "All desktop typographers should study this book...", and I agree with him. If you design anything using type you should heed the great Mr Zapf's advice.
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on 21 April 2012
This is a brilliant book which is well written and easy to understand. Typographic principles well explained with fantastic examples. This is a great book for anyone who designs print material or is interested in design. I will be looking for other books by this author :)
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on 10 March 2012
You have to be font/typography crazy to buy this, but if you are it is a 'no brainer' - detailed, interesting and helpful and written in an attractive style that keeps you reading. As you'd expect, it's beautifully designed and printed.
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