Draw Your Own Fonts: 30 Alphabets to Scribble, Sketch, and Make Your Own

As a graphic designer who can barely draw, I have always envied those who can incorporate hand drawing to make their designs look unique. When I saw Draw Your Own Fonts: 30 Alphabets to Scribble, Sketch and Make Your Own, by Tony Seddon, I was intrigued. Could this teach me to draw my own type? In our increasingly digital world, technology enables more and more people to produce work that is polished and tasteful. I’m not saying a designer’s job is easy, but, as Seddon...

Continue reading

Characters: Cultural stories revealed through Typography

Review by Veronica Grow Like most typo cognoscenti, Stephen Banham is fondly known for being somewhat fanatical and nerdy on the subject of type and letters. In my opinion, it takes the obsession of one such fanatic to compile such a vast treasure of information, so clearly, in the form of this fascinating book named Characters. Characters focuses on the cultural role that typography plays (especially in the guise of signage) in defining the flavor and character of the City of Melbourne...

Continue reading

Function, Restraint, and Subversion in Typography

If you are a fan of minimalism, modernism or brutalism you will find Function, Restraint, and Subversion in Typography especially intriguing. The book, by J. Namdev Hardisty, surveys contemporary examples of the styles by detailing the work of many modern design studios. Many of the studios were familiar names in the design world, some were more foreign but still recognizable, and many were names I had not encountered before. (Click to enlarge) The emphasis is, of course, on typography and...

Continue reading

Just My Type: More Than A Book About Fonts

If every typography book were written like Just My Type: A Book About Fonts (Amazon: US|UK|DE), more people would care about the subject. British author and journalist Simon Garfield’s tone is so accessible, it feels like he lived through 600 years of history and just popped by to talk about it. Font geeks will enjoy his snappy vignettes on influential designers, why quick brown foxes jump over lazy dogs, and the life and death of something called an interrobang. For the casual font user...

Continue reading

Explorations in Typography

Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting by Carolina de Bartolo is a marvelous book that explains some of the most commonly used typesetting devices. The book is comprised of 24 different examples of ways to set the same piece of text, the short essay Type Builds Character by Erik Spiekermann (originally published in his 2002 book Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works). Topics that are covered include leading, drop capitals, column widths, margins, tracking...

Continue reading

Thinking With Type

I’m not the first one to say this, and I definitely won’t be the last, but the statement is worth repeating. Thinking With Type is a book that should be in the collection of every designer, writer, editor, publisher and typographer. Ellen Lupton’s excellent analysis of thinking with typography is perfect for everyone from the first-year student to the seasoned professional. The book covers an expansive amount of typographic information including application, theory, and...

Continue reading

Bibliographic

While graphic design does not have as long of a history as some of the other visual mediums, say sculpture or painting, it has certainly come a long way in establishing itself through the work, writings and published thoughts of the designers, typographers, artists and writers involved in its evolution. There have been many books published about the work, ethos and personas associated with the different aspects of graphic design. Bibliographic is a book that chronicles some of the most...

Continue reading

Designing Type

Karen Cheng’s Designing Type is the answer to the needs of a multitude of type designers from all over the world. It is probably the first book ever to analyse, discuss and explain process of designing letterforms so thoroughly. This rather big (232 pages, 28x22cm) imprint is from the very beginning to the very end filled with useful, sometimes extremely detailed, but always very practical guidelines, tips and rules concerning designing your own text font from the scratch. All this is...

Continue reading

Jost Hochuli: Detail in Typography

Or to give it it’s full title: Detail In Typography, Letters, Letter spacing, words, word spacing, lines, line spacing, columns. (Amazon UK US) Detail in Typography… is one of the more recent publications by Hyphen Press, the imprint set up by Robin Kinross; typographer, author & critic. Published for the first time in English in 2008, Detail in Typography… was first published in Switzerland in 2005 and it’s translation to English has given this slim book a...

Continue reading

Graphic Design: A User’s Manual

Graphic Design: A User’s Manual is a book I wish I had when I started out as a designer. In the follow-up to his previous work, How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy focuses less on the nuts and bolts of the studio and is more contemplative, drawing upon his significant experience as a working designer to offer equal parts direction and discussion. The book is visually striking, set in a monospaced typeface and very deliberately accented with one...

Continue reading