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on 4 March 2014
Thinking with Type is very firmly aimed at Students and Beginners, those with experience will gain far less. Typography designers should look elsewhere.

If you are a beginner who wants to learn the basics of type, some of its history and see examples & advice on style & layout, then you'll find this book very helpful.

If you already have a familiarity with type you'll find this book a little thin. It may cast light on some of your bad habits and give you a few new nuggets of information, but that's about it.

If your interest is in the art side of Typography and/or you intend to design typefaces yourself, digitally or by hand, this book is definitely NOT for you. Save your money.


The book uses clear examples to illustrate the correct way to set your type. The humourously titled 'Type Crimes', which appear throughout the book, show you memorably bad examples of what not to do. These are helpful lessons.

The historical background behind printed letterforms is concise and interesting. You'll come away with a better understanding of why letters from different typefaces look the way they do.

The explanation of different weights within a typeface family and the role they fulfil should, with practice, help you select the right tool for the job.


The book sometimes lacks consistency, dedicating too much focus to some areas and too little in others. For example Grid layouts are covered at great length to the point of tedium, yet Kerning is given only 2 pages.

The occasional uneven presentation of topics, of abrupt brevity in some cases and over-indulgence in others, make this more a text book than a reference book.

Where advice is given on usage in specific software, it makes the presumption that you'll be using Adobe InDesign. For hyphenation it only gives keyboard short-cuts for Apple Mac computers. That's downright unhelpful if neither situation applies to you. Thankfully software & operating system specific advice doesn't appear too often.

In summary...

A book for beginners only. A solid starting point where all the basics are covered, although occasionally it's too long or short on some topics.
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on 21 March 2016
I'm sure it's a great book, but unfortunately I can't read it. I bought the kindle book and can't zoom in or make text larger. Very disappointing, I'll be requesting a refund.
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on 5 December 2015
The content is super just what I needed to help me understand typography. But its nearly unreadable on my tablet Samsung galaxy note 10.1 with the kindle app, it's locked in to the portrait orientation the type is very small some parts are unreadable as the type must be below 5pts. This is a shame as the book is really nice read and doesn't disappear up its own backside with to much technical detail. It is very disappointing that another good book has been spoilt by careless formating and no testing to make sure it works on all formats.
Do your self a favour and spend the extra £2 and get it in print.

I have just bought the printed edition as the kindle edition is useless.
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on 5 March 2011
In the introduction, Ellen Lupton states "I sought a book that is serene and intelligible, a volume where design and text gently collaborate to enhance understanding. I sought a work that is small and compact, economical yet well-constructed - a handbook designed for the hands. I sought a book that reflects the diversity of typographic life, past and present, exposing my students to history, theory and ideas. Finally, I sought a book that would be relevant across the media of visual design, from the printed page to the glowing screen."

And that's exactly what she created. This book is an excellent entrance point into typography, and the author's enthusiasm for the subject comes across very warmly. It's delicately balanced to offer a bit of history, a bit of technical terminology, a few how-to's and what-not-to-ever-do's. I've picked up and put back down two other uninspiring typography books - 'Typography' by Ambrose/Harris, 'Logo, Font and Lettering Bible' by Leslie Cabarga - but this book captured my attention and ignited my imagination. And that's really the point of reading design books isn't it? Not to just admire what you see, but to feel inspired to create your own work.

Other typography books may be better at drumming in the technicalities, or teaching you how to practically implement things in InDesign or HTML/CSS. But this book gently informs, entertains and encourages, turning a mild interest into a fascination. It's really an easy and most definitely worthwhile read, presenting typography not as a strict discipline to be mastered, but an expressive art form to be admired, enjoyed and played with.
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on 6 February 2016
I purchased the e-book version and the content is great, just what I needed for my graphic design course. However, I would much prefer to zoom in on the pages instead of the annoying little boxes popping up and zooming in on the text, making the reading experience unpleasant. I wish I had bought the paper format instead especially considering the high price of the kindle format.
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on 8 December 2012
As a newbie to graphics/typography (at least in the sense of having to deal with it in any kind of a professional context), I've found this to be an excellent primer to getting your head in the right place to think about typography and basic layout. It's well written and a lot of the examples are beautifully illustrated, so it serves a double-shift as a prompt if you're stuck for an idea with something you're working on. Essential.
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on 10 January 2017
A nice, well illustrated and well designed book, going through the basics (and some nerdy details) of typography in a rather inspiring way. Easy to read.
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on 2 November 2014
Thinking with Type

Thinking with Type is an ideal book for people wanting to learn about typography, it's now on its second edition and is one of the best-selling design books on Amazon. the book has 224 pages spanning from information about Grids to Type Hierarchy. The examples of typographic layout and design are from both modern design and classical design.

Towards the book of the book are exercises to complete and also guides to both proofreading and editing text. We highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn or expand his or her knowledge on typography.

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on 12 January 2014
Just read the reviews, though most are good the poor reviews seem to lack good reason as to why it is not a good book.

This is a book junior designers, apprentices and amateur to intermmediate typographers.

It is not a history book. The purpose of this book is meant to teach the basics and then goes into some more professional detail. Within the context of the book you get practical exercises. Something to test you on what you have read and to practice and hone your basic skill.

I would highly recommend to amateur to intermediate designers. Those with experience that expect to find the new helvetica will be disappointed.
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on 16 November 2013
I tried to return it but you refuse the return and so did the publisher. It's a heap of rubbish and perhaps intended for the designer who knows nothing about type Perhaps I should send the publisher my last remaining lead, antimony and tin which my colleagues used on our monotype casters.
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