Just My Type: A Book About Fonts Hardcover – Sep 1 2011
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"This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Lynne Truss's best-selling Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation: made it noticeable for people who had no idea they were interested in such things." — New York Times, Janet Maslin
"Garfield takes readers on a rollicking tour of the world of typography." — USA Today
"Garfield's engaging history of letter design will be eye candy...[Just My Type is] stuffed with fascinating bits of information...lively, richly illustrated " — NPR.org/Books We Like
"Whether you're a graphic designer or a layperson with no background in this area, reading what Garfield has to say will change the way you perceive the written word forever. It might even lead you to make more discerning choices the next time you have a desktop publishing project in front of you. The take-away from Garfield's book is simple: Contrary to reports of its premature death, print is very much alive." — Los Angeles Times
"Just My Type, is informative, delightful - and essential reading for word geeks everywhere." — The Seattle Times
"Charming and informative" — The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"You'll find a lot to like in this book....[it] informs as it entertains." — St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Charming." — Tampa Bay Tribune
"Deliriously clever and entertaining." — The Boston Globe
"Packed with lively anecdotes" — The Boston Globe, Word Column
"Well-researched." — The Philadelphia Intelligencer
"Garfield's romping history (with multitype text) is zestfully informative." — Booklist
"Deft and downright fun." — PureWow.com
"A lively, informative survey of 560 years of typefaces and font choices that will probably make you select a font that is much more you." — Shelf Awareness
"Here is a wonderful update for those whose fondness for matters typographical predates the digital age, as well as those whose eyes need awakening to this particular enchantment. Garfield has a light touch and moves effortlessly among various aspects of typography past and present, not only from design perspectives but from accessible social, historical, and legal angles as well. Throughout, Garfield offers "fontbreaks" in which he focuses on the provenance of a particular typeface. An added pleasure: the book's own text switches fonts to briefly reflect the typeface under discussion. "Highly recommended to all, whether or not you feel predisposed to like this kind of thing! Eye-opening and mind-expanding!" — Starred Library Journal
"[A] lively romp through the history of fonts. Garfield's evocative prose entices us to see letters instead of just reading them." — Publishers Weekly
"A thoroughly entertaining, well-informed tour of typefaces...[Just My Type] offers an informed and pleasing answer, and a lively companion to books such as Robert Bringhurst's essential Elements of Typographic Style (1992) and John Lewis's classic Typography: Design and Practice." — Kirkus Reviews
"Whether you're a hardcore typophile or a type-tyro, there's something here for you: be it the eye-opening revelations of Eric Gill's utter and complete perversity, or the creation of the typeface that helped Mr. Obama gain entrance to the White House." — Chip Kidd
"There is even a photograph of a quick brown fox literally jumping over a lazy dog. What a clever, clever book." — Lynne Truss
"Did I love this book? My daughter's middle name is Bodoni. Enough said." — Maira Kalman
"With wit, grace and intelligence, Simon Garfield tells the fascinating stories behind the letters that we encounter every day on our street corners, our bookstore shelves, and our computer screens." -Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram Design, New York, and author of Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design
"Simon Garfield reveals an invisible world behind the printed word... the lives of the designers and the letters they've created have never been more clearly detailed with so much flair." — Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, author of Encyclopedia of the Exquisite
About the Author
Simon Garfield is the author of twelve acclaimed books of nonfiction. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall, and currently has a soft spot for Requiem Fine Roman and HT Gelateria.
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Top Customer Reviews
Just My Type by Simon Garfield is a brilliant little book on a topic you would think boring beyond belief. But you would be wrong, for there is a lot to learn about how fonts and type sets affect the way we read and think.
Thousands of fonts are all around us and we are affected by them in an almost subliminal manner. Why do some ads attract us more than others? Why is the masthead of a newspaper written in a gothic style? Why are highway signs printed in lower case letters? And why did IKEA change its font from Futura to Verdana, and endure the fury of some of its customers? All is answered here, with wit and style.
Some fonts have become almost omnipresent, and once it is pointed out by Garfield, we suddenly see them everywhere. Signs in aeroports are likely to be in Frutiger because it is so highly visible. Johnson Sans was created for the London Underground and one only has to read Cockfosters in that font and know that it is a Tube station. Some are highly readable, such as Cochin, or highly legible, such as Helvetica, or look legal and important like Baskerville, or monumental (Trajan), or just beautiful (Garamond). Then there are the overused or ugly fonts, such as Comic Sans and Times New Roman. You will now see roadside signs and think, what on earth were they thinking of?
Just My Type is a wonderful, useful book and a pleasure to read, and not just because it is printed in Sabon.
Fonts came into being with the invention of the printing press in the late 15th century. It is shocking to realise that the printing of books for the masses has only existed for a fraction of man's existence. Books are such an integral of our lives that its amazing to think only 600 years ago books were owned only by the very wealthy or religious orders.
Garfield traces the history of fonts from their earliest days, paying special attention to those which we're most familiar with - Helvetica, Gill Sans, Arial, and Akzidenz Grotesk (a favorite of mine, if only for the name). He writes about the artisans behind the lettering, and most interesting, how certain fonts cause emotional responses in the people who view them. Why were some fonts popular for hundreds of years, only to fall from favor? How do fonts determine what consumers buy and what they don't buy? And how boring our lives would be if everything was printed in the same font.
Garfield has a lively writing style and is never boring. He gives a very good reference section at the back of the book, which is very helpful to those readers who want to know more.
By the way, if you're reading this, then be sure to go over to AmazonUSA read the review by Rob Hardy in this section. His long and interesting review is spot on - he's a reviewer's reviewer - and Rob's are the gold standard of reviews.
Most recent customer reviews
Really great book. if you want to know the fonts, buy it. it tells story about most popular fonts.
it helps me anyway.
Fascinating journey through the history of fonts. Highly amusing and highly recommended.Published 9 months ago by BenP
A fun read, lovely stories. Very enjoyable even for a non-typography-geek.Published 18 months ago by Ash in Vancouver