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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Considerably more fun than typefaces themselves. Incidentally, fonts are properly founts (poured metal). The muddlingly ecclesiastical phonetic spelling, scorned by purists, was introduced in the computer age as an aid to those who'd never poured or handled hot metal in their lives other than a knife and fork. In non-print contexts the word retains its traditional spelling and pronunciation, fount
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on 31 December 2011
A quite interesting read, but written in the modern style - nice anecdotes but no coherent chronology and presented in mostly short fragments (though some are rather idiosyncratic and go on for too long!).

Given that the subject matter is visual - fonts, and their use in signs, advertising, record sleeves, etc - the book is poorly illustrated. Sometimes we get an enlarged illustration of the font that is under discussion, more often all we see of the font is in its name, displayed within the text. Perhaps the author belongs to a sect where images of the divine are not permitted, or only through occasional glimpses.
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on 19 March 2014
Delightful - well written, informative and entertaining for anyone who uses typefaces (or fonts?) to produce graphics, web pages or print material. Reminded me of my youth too - the John Bull printing set, the Letraset... If you liked them you'll certainly love Simon Garfield's book. The Kindle version does a fairly good job of reproducing the many examples and illustrations of different typefaces.
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on 11 April 2017
Excellent
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on 19 May 2012
If you didn't think such details as fonts influence your emotions, buying decisions, or ability to absorb information quickly, think again. This interesting run-down of how and why fonts are used for purposes beyond the purely decorative kept me entertained from start to finish.
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on 5 July 2017
The story of type and not just for typographers.
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on 14 July 2015
A genuinely interesting and informative book, written in a very conversational manner. I never knew fonts could be so fascinating.
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on 6 August 2016
good condition and value
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on 24 September 2015
Literally as described and delivered on time.
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on 3 November 2010
I read a gushing review of this in the DT and was immediately transported back to the late 1970s (1979 I think) when a uni friend of mine gave me his old (c1977-1978) Letraset catalogue (I think I still have it somewhere). I was rather taken aback and impressed by all the different typefaces and even tried to reproduce by hand some Old English names and signs with a Rotring pen (remember those?). Fast forward a few years and there I am doing my final year project surgically removing the lower line of the 'E' because I had run out of 'F's for 'Figure'. So I thought this book would be the sort of minutiae type anal retentive stuff I enjoy reading - and it is!

It could have been such a boring book just talking about some of the more famous 100,000+ typefaces that exist but it isn't - it's a masterpiece. I can't believe that someone could research and write such an excellent book on something that ostensibly is insignificant, and it is only when you read the book the lightbulb comes on and you think how important typefaces, fonts and printing is in your life. This is even truer with the advent of the digital age, as we can easily compare typefaces and fonts on a PC - which is a lot of fun!

I didn't realise (I suppose I should have) just how much effort goes into designing a typeface and the fonts and in a way this book salutes that with its clever (though perhaps obvious) use of the typefaces all the way through - it must have been a nightmare to proof read.

I now know that the delicious typeface on the London Underground is Johnstone Sans and that one of the designers had some very odd sexual leanings!

Also I did find a couple of potential minor errors in the book and wrote to the author who was kind enough to reply - what a good egg (and we agreed that they were minor!).

If you like this type (b'dum tschh) of thing then I can't recommend this book highly enough - it's a real gem.
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