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A typeface can convey a sense of urgency, formality or humour, and it is almost impossible for typefaces not to give character. "Designing Typefaces" introduces a new level of meaning to the mysterious world of type design. It includes extensive interviews with twelve international practitioners, all providing their unique approach to the subject, from the broad sweep of intention to the minute detail of stroke thickness. The book also deals with computer-based type design, licensing, letter spacing and many more factors essential to the art. It also includes a practical tutorial section to provide the reader with step-by-step instructions to designing their own fonts. Design and typography students, practitioners and those interested in the fascinating area of typography will find "Designing Typefaces" essential and worthwhile reading.
Top customer reviews
Don't expect a "how to" guide (though there is a little one at the end), it's more about the philosophy of type design.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Not a serious read or look. Save your money.
The interviews are of satisfying length, but don't probe too deeply into their subjects. Nevertheless I found them to be interesting and they made me think about typography in different ways. The content is varied, some dealing with design theory and some with technique.
The examples are sporadic; for some designers, I wanted to see more, especially when there would be some "revolutionary" font described in the text that wasn't shown. For the most part it is good stuff, however, including multiple revisions of some fonts on their way to the finished product and posters showing the fonts in context.
The tutorial would be better renamed "A Few Things to Consider Before Designing a Typeface." It is merely a cursory glance at the process, offering very little guidance.
Overall, this would be a good book to check out from a library (you could easily read it in a day) but there would be little point in owning it.
This book profiles 12 contemporary type designers and shows on a personal level, why each typographer chose to do what he/she does and how they approach their work. Earls does what few other have in giving us personal insight (though be it brief) into the lives, minds and personal influences of well-known, and not-so-well-known, contemporary typographers--like Zuzanna Licko, Matthew Carter and Johnathan Hoefler.
A few people missing that I would like to have seen included are: Neville Brody, Sumner Stone, Elliot Earls and the group at House Industries.
If you're interested in learning something behind the surface of today's typography design, this book does have something to offer with a decent selection of typographers and (very brief) samples of their work.
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