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Type: The Secret History of Letters Paperback – 31 Mar 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (31 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845110285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845110284
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 722,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Simon Loxley's quirkily elegant Type follows hard on the heels of Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It is better designed and typeset than that unlikely bestseller, and its subject, type, is central to the experience of every reader...A heady mixture of intrigue, personal achievement and corporate greed' --Justin Howes, Times Literary Supplement 'Simon Loxley reads between the lines in Type...underscoring the passion and ambition of its designers and highlighting the role that business and technological breakthroughs have had in the way we print and read today' --History Today 'the perfect book to spark an interest in type design amongst world-weary students' --Times Higher Education Supplement 'written like a novel, with the interplay of the great artists and technicians of the world of typography dramatized but never caricatured' --TypographicaTHE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN PRINTING HISTORY ASSOCIATION'remarkably good'

About the Author

Simon Loxley, practicing typographer, designer and teacher, lives in London. This is his first book.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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