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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

on 7 July 2015
Having read the fine reviews of this book, I took a punt and chose it along with a few other similar titles, to learn about typography in a little more depth.

I was not at all expecting to find that this book is in fact a beautifully written manual, not just on typography but arguably also on the deeper philosophy and understanding of the design of our most common form of communication.

I am now have regular conversations along the lines, "I'm reading this wonderful book, just beautifully written, I can't put it down. - What's it about? - Typography. - What's that? Erm, well, sometimes it's about the space between letters..... "

Just a lovely, lovely book that you will take great pleasure in owning.

Thouroughly recommended.
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on 23 December 2001
This book searches for the deep and hidden reasons of typographical choices.

The mixing of type, the size and layout of a page, the matching between type and text are explained in terms of conceptual reasons which go far beyond the more down-to-earth perceptive approach typographers usually take.
For instance, the size of pages is linked to the intervals of music (octave, fourth, and so on) and to the Fibonacci series and, of course, to the golden section.
It is, therefore, a pythagoric vision of typography.
I think practical people will dislike it and consider it unnecessarily affected and, speaking for myself, I considered it too far fetched.
But because the author is very clear and writes well, you are never left in doubt about what he means, and, therefore, you can make up your mind as to accept or rejects his views.
Even if I found the arguments artificial, the fact remains that it is plenty of good advice on all the finer points of typography and, more than that, it is one of the really beautifull recent books I have read.
So, if you choose to judge the author by the results he achieves and not for the reasons he claims are the cause of that achievement, you can only respect and admire the author and his principles.
Certainly a must.
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on 8 April 1998
Robert Bringhurst's book must be the first word on typography and deserves to be the last. He writes with a humanist's sensitivity to history, a mathematician's devotion to order and number, and an artist's love of beauty. I cannot imagine a better book.
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on 19 January 2010
This is a remarkable book. First of all, it is beautiful: beautifully typeset and laid out in a beautiful format on beautiful paper. Prof. Bringhurst's love of his subject, clearly witnessed by the level of detail of his exposition, makes this book a delight to read both as a narrative, binding together the historic and modern arts of typography and booksetting, and as a reference source from well before mutton to well after pilcrow.

Why, then, do I say it is dangerous? Simply this: I makes me completely dissatisfied with every piece of electronic publishing I have ever done. Books, manuals, papers, letters, business cards: all mediocre scratchings.

Prof. Bringhurst is, in this book, a master of the art of damnation through faint praise. His analysis of the broken kerning of Times New Roman, while quite reserved and polite, show by clear example just how badly broken it is -- it needs no other condemnation -- and should make all those users of MS Word's default font family squirm at their keyboards.

Notable, too, by their complete absence, are a number of font families that many of us take for granted, but I won't name them here, except for Comic Sans. The author is not writing for web users, though he does mention, briefly and adequately, the problems of showing a decent text on a computer screen. I suspect his silence is to draw a veil over what for him must be some of the most depressing items of typographic experience.

Finally, this book is not for everyone. It needs a little persistence to read; and you will need a degree of curiosity about at least one aspect of fonts and typesetting to enjoy it. But given these pre-requisites, enjoyment is guaranteed.
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on 24 August 2003
A beautifully written book and a pleasure to read. Herman Zapf is quoted on the back cover "All desktop typographers should study this book...", and I agree with him. If you design anything using type you should heed the great Mr Zapf's advice.
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on 20 January 2018
If you're interested in the finer points of type and typography you'll end up with a bookshelf full of books. You can save a lot of money by buying this one first. It's rather difficult to find anything wrong with it... OK, so it's not in colour.
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on 20 December 2016
This is the best typography book I've had in my hands in the short time I have as a typography enthusiast. Edition and attention to detail, from the print quality to the fonts and even the paper makes reading the book a pleasant experience
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on 31 August 2017
Very detailed and worth spending time reading. Invaluable when considering the demands of digital printing. Arrival was quick and book well-wrapped. Thanks
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on 13 December 2016
Without a doubt this is the finest book on typography around. Dense with information but always readable. Reading many books on typography I've felt that the author's have gained their knowledge through reading rather than experience, but this is knowledge of the first order from a man who has clearly mastered his domain.

If every graphic designer was forced to read this book from cover to cover before they were allowed to work, the world would be a far better place.
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on 10 February 2014
This is an absolute must for any graphic designer or anyone interested in typography. The content is a superb overview of everything you need to know. The book itself is gorgeously designed and produced, lovely smooth paper. It is written beautifully too, I could easily sit and read this book. Really, I cannot rate it highly enough.
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