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on July 11, 2003
Nothing more to say. Simply, the best book on typography.
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Bringhurst both demonstrates and describes typography with style and wit. This book is considered the most authoritative by those who know typography. But the man can write. He dismisses _The Chicago Manual of Style_ on the subject of the ellipsis as indulging in "...a Victorian eccentricity." Typographers and publishers should start with this book, and then consider lesser works.
John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters
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on January 31, 2003
Actually, I think the audience for this book is the layman with interest in good typography. I think this book might be a little lacking for a graphics/type professional, but I it fills a void for the layman with an interest in the layout & typography of the printed word.
Bringhust deals with the classic elements of typography, so you will find no mention of poster typography, "modern" movements & the like... He gives great detail in laying out pages, dimensions of pages & font selection. His review of fonts (Prowling the Specimen Books) is worth the price of the book alone.
I really appreciated the "grammar for typographers" he covers (using dashes, etc.) I would love to see a full grammar book written from the book designer/typographers point of view.
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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 November 25, 2002
Just a quick note to say that Brinhurst brings tremendous wit and playfulness to the table with this informative and enlightening book. Who could have imagined that a book on typography could be such an entertaining, compelling and downright WITTY read (yes, given the typographical strictures of the online review system, I have brazenly set "witty" in all uppercase--its my prerogative).
I will never hit the spacebar twice after a sentence again.
I give it 5 diacriticals! Outstanding.
(I am a broadcast designer)
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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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Serious designers who are beginning their trade, or old hats who might need to be refreshed in typography can benefit from Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style."
Bringhurst has brought us a thrifty tome of typography. Succinct, he isn't bound to entertain the reader, but educate him.
His glossary of typographic terms will bring you into the know about apertures, dot leaders, nuts and muttons.
Just as useful is his thorough appendix of sorts and characters. With an image of the characters, he explains in a few sentences what characters is when it is to be used properly. He distinguishes acutes from graves from primes from hois from apostrophes. Adjacent to this lexicon is a quick visual index of alphabetic character. This section alone was worth the price for me.
The real science of "The Elements of Typographic Style" is in Bringhurst's bulk of explanations of letter construction, page composition, defining and given shorts histories of classic fonts as seen in specimen books, a great chapter on analphabetic symbols.
I fully recommend this book. Artists, designers, illustrators all should have a copy of this. It reads easier than you might suspect, and would serve as a fine textbook. Writers should read it for no other reason than it is interesting, but to also have pity on our poor designers who must make our words look nice.
Anthony Trendl
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on October 31, 2002
I love this book. As a book editor, I searched high and low for a book that explained the principles behind typographic selection, and that's exactly what this book is. I didn't want some light or airy introduction to type: I already had a fine aesthetic sense. I wanted to know how to talk about type, and this book gave me the vocabulary and concepts to do so intelligently.
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on October 31, 2002
I love this book. As a book editor, I searched high and low for a book that explained the principles behind typographic selection, and that's exactly what this book is. I didn't want some light or airy introduction to type: I already had a fine aesthetic sense. I wanted to know how to talk about type, and this book gave me the vocabulary and concepts to do so intelligently.
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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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