An enjoyable introduction to the art of typography,
This review is from: Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography (Hardcover)
Over the space of a couple of decades or so, I have bought several books on typography. I am not a professional print designer although it is a subject that I have found to be interesting. Most of the books I have seen on the subject are essentially print samples, either of a full alphabet and numerics for each of hundreds of typefaces or print samples of a standardised text repeated for each which allows the differences between two apparently similar fonts to be identified, although a few are either about the history of type design or of some practical nature. They each have their uses.
This is a different book and absorbs something of everything relating to the subject. It has some type examples, but not thousands, and the whole concept is far more graphic. It is a more interesting book to read rather than simply to reference as it contains histories of some of the most-often found typefaces, including the almost notorious Cooper Black which is very nearly its first subject. It also includes design histories including later modifications for some and a mini-biography of several key designers who may either have designed whole font families, such as Eric Gill, or who designed several several individual fonts.
The book also provides much useful information concerning the practice of typography and some of the pitfalls to avoid. It is therefore a book that is aimed at several different audiences at the one time; it could serve students of design or typography, layout artists and other publishing professionals who want to improve their skills, and those like myself who have a general interest in the subject. Each typeface (or family) has a dedicated two-page spread and the layout varies from one spread to another, so there is no uniformity, which makes for a more designed and varied layout. There are some common themes which provide that little extra interest.
A perfect example of page design and a must have for designers and design students. The only downside is that it is published by one of the lesser-known houses and may therefore be less easy to find in some bookshops but it is, obviously, available from Amazon.