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on January 13, 2001
»The Elements Of Typographic Style« is a very very interesting book. Robert Bringhurst is a very good writer, with an unusually wide knowledge of not only typograpy, and therefore the book becomes extremely very relevant and not at all overspecialized.
Mr Bringhurst's writing skills and knowledge have also succeeded in creating what is rare among reference books: A reference book that you can actually read from one end to the other, which is what I did myself. Without getting bored, no, in fact it was hard for me to put »The Elements Of Typographic Style« down!
The only drawback is that, sometimes, Mr Bringhurst tends to make statements which he makes look like the only truth, despite his amazing knowledge of the subject. His solutions are often, but not always, discussed - and especially when they are not, it seems annoying to read about what is his personal taste and preferences.
But »The Elements Of Typographic Style« seems to me like a Bible of typography! An extremely relevant book that will open not only typographers', printers' and authors' eyes and make them at the very least a little more aware of what makes a written medium inviting and worth reading. Of course, this book itself is a beautiful example of well-taken care of typography and layout!
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on January 8, 2003
Now that we all have laser printers and computers, we are offered 120 - 400 different fonts on even the most basic home computing set-ups. Many people are interested in knowing more about "orthography" (doing typography well). Bringhurst's book is thoroughly professional and quite readable. It's complete (it covers non-English characters in some depth) and encyclopedic, and in my judgment it is a standard of "best practice."
However, this book is written at a level that would be appropriate for a serious graphic designer who is considering designing a new font. It's a bit beyond what a layman would need--or find interesting.
Recommended, then, for professionals only.
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on September 20, 2002
An insightful, thorough examination of the use of type. It's well suited to those seriously studying typography or seeking a deeper understanding of it to enhance their professional design work. But it may be a bit dense and esoteric for beginning students - it's certainly more than a light introduction. The author's evangelism on the profundity of type can be a bit overwhelming at times too - unless you're already a subscriber to the faith.
That said, there's no doubt that type is a cornerstone of good design. This book will certainly help you build that cornerstone well.
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on August 8, 2001
Bringhurst gets at the heart of typography as an expressive medium. The work does not focus right or wrong, but poses reasons why one might make one choice over another.
I think this may be the best book for someone just learning about typography to start with. At the same time, it is insightful for those with more experience.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2002
This book seems to be recommended by every graphic designer in the world as THE book on typography. After buying it, I found it to be not exactly what was promised. As previous reviewers have noted, the layout is a bit eccentric--elegant but hard to use (maybe). Those in love with the possibilities of book design will no doubt like it, but those readers more concerned with readability may find the layout distracting. For me, the book's strongest feature was the listing and descriptions of Bingham's favorite fonts. I found that section very illuminating and inspirational. As for the remainder of the book, the so called "rules" of typography are considered but not exhaustively so by any means. Bingham is more interested in writing about his own perspectives. Beginners will probably be bored by this material. For them, better books on the rules of type exist. For the more advanced user and for those studying graphic design, this book is a must read. However, be aware this is not a "how to" kind of book.
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