Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
For Beginners only.
on 4 March 2014
Thinking with Type is very firmly aimed at Students and Beginners, those with experience will gain far less. Typography designers should look elsewhere.
If you are a beginner who wants to learn the basics of type, some of its history and see examples & advice on style & layout, then you'll find this book very helpful.
If you already have a familiarity with type you'll find this book a little thin. It may cast light on some of your bad habits and give you a few new nuggets of information, but that's about it.
If your interest is in the art side of Typography and/or you intend to design typefaces yourself, digitally or by hand, this book is definitely NOT for you. Save your money.
The book uses clear examples to illustrate the correct way to set your type. The humourously titled 'Type Crimes', which appear throughout the book, show you memorably bad examples of what not to do. These are helpful lessons.
The historical background behind printed letterforms is concise and interesting. You'll come away with a better understanding of why letters from different typefaces look the way they do.
The explanation of different weights within a typeface family and the role they fulfil should, with practice, help you select the right tool for the job.
The book sometimes lacks consistency, dedicating too much focus to some areas and too little in others. For example Grid layouts are covered at great length to the point of tedium, yet Kerning is given only 2 pages.
The occasional uneven presentation of topics, of abrupt brevity in some cases and over-indulgence in others, make this more a text book than a reference book.
Where advice is given on usage in specific software, it makes the presumption that you'll be using Adobe InDesign. For hyphenation it only gives keyboard short-cuts for Apple Mac computers. That's downright unhelpful if neither situation applies to you. Thankfully software & operating system specific advice doesn't appear too often.
A book for beginners only. A solid starting point where all the basics are covered, although occasionally it's too long or short on some topics.