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on 24 December 2011
I became more and more infuriated with this book as I progressed: I was hoping to read a history of type faces, but instead I got boring anecdotes about typographers. OK, it is all tied together around the evolution of type, and early on we are treated to the assertion that 16th century Caslon is very different from its 20th century recreations. But do we get illustrations that allows us to judge for ourselves? No! In fact, there are hardly any examples of type faces in this book, and the ones that are shown only include three capitals and three lower case letters. What's more, they are invariably of standard fonts you can find on your own PC. Pointless.

My second gripe with the book is that it already assumes the reader knows about movable type. Key technical details must be googled by the reader or inferred from the context. It is as if the early chapters lack a few introductory paragraphs.

Very disappointing.
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VINE VOICEon 21 August 2006
First of all I have to admit to being a bit of an (amateur) typophile, which might explain why I enjoyed this book more than anything I've read for a long long time.

Written in an very engaging style, Type is a whirlwind tour though the entire history of typesetting from Gutenberg to the launch of the Apple Mac, Pagemaker and the birth of digital type.

Along the way it touches on the evolution of new technologies and fashions in typefaces, providing an education as well as lots of anecdotes - the history of type is littered with larger than life characters.

A very well written and engaging book, beautifully typeset and printed in itself, it should appeal to a much wider audience as well as those with a professional interest in type.
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on 5 March 2011
Well, the review title says it all - a fascinating overview of details you can't imagine how anyone has got to know about, a great combination of chatty, almost journalistic, style with enormously deep knowledge: I wouldn't want to be without it - but it's extraordinary that a book about type should use such unpleasantly small and faint type that's it's really hard work to read it physically, and actually makes your hand tend to turn instead to another of the books in the pile waiting to be read ...
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on 10 April 2016
This is not a technical or historical book on typography, more a social/historical look at some key points in time chosen by the author.
As such it's a pleasant light read and almost a companion piece to Just My Type.

It's not a book that teaches you to become a typographer, but will give you some appreciation for type and the people who have produced such incredible and ubiquitous work. In some ways it is like an extended series of newspaper articles lightly touching on a variety of interesting facts about typographers and their lives. It's a light read and a reasonable diversion for someone interested in type and some of the people who have been involved in its development over time.

Anyone complaining about the lack of detail in the book, such as full sets of typefaces as described, should look elsewhere. There are plenty of books that already do that. Besides any reasonable designer/typographer should have some form of reference library to hand, or access to the internet.

I would recommend anyone looking for a deeper take on the subject to read Modern Typography: An Essay in Critical History by Robin Kinross.
This is much more detailed and academic.
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on 4 January 2016
I think that the two stars elsewhere is a bit harsh, considering any book could be criticised for what it isn't. I found it a very entertaining read. I am amazed at how the author knows so much of this history that (to me) is not what you come across every day. The writing style is excellent and at time it reads like a thriller. I got it on some sale on a whim, and the Kindle version is fine as regards readbility, which others have commented on. More illustrations and more of everything would have been great, but that is testament to the infectious enthusiasm in the terrific writing.
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on 21 September 2014
This was a really good read. What you might expect to be a dull subject proved very interesting, and the author did well to make what might have been a dry subject, interesting.
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on 15 April 2013
Potentially a fascinating subject, but made dull by an unimaginative approach, lack of adequate illustration and political gibbering at the end.
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on 27 July 2014
Geeky I know but fascinating and I am not even a typophile.

Give it a go you will be suprised
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on 29 July 2009
im currently a uni student attempting to write a dissertation on black letter type.i stumbled across this book in the local high street hoping for abit more history on my subject and within 5 minutes of flicking through id found exactly what i was looking for! so straight home onto amazon and got it afew days later but i was surprised to find myself reading the whole thing and getting really intrigued into the lives of many typographers. Brilliant book! well written with a tad of quirkiness, defiantly recommend getting if your learning about type.
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on 2 June 2004
We really enjoyed "Type", its serious side enlivened by images of Eric Gill up a ladder in a smock and nothing underneath, and the dreadful stink of poor Baskerville. Unusual, unexpected, and very nicely produced
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