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The Elements of Typographic Style Paperback – Sep 27 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hartley & Marks; Third Edition edition (Sept. 27 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881792063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881792065
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Buy it up, no matter what the price. It is well worth having in your own possession, as I have many ticks and notes scribbled in its pages.
I had basic typo. training in my second year as a design major, but this was the book that made it all come together for me. The point of this book is -style- and not simply the history and terminology of type (though both are peppered throughout the book). What I have found especially useful were the sections regarding punctuation and the chapter entitled 'Shaping the Page'. It is not a dry read, as we are talking about a book written by a beloved poet as well as book designer.
To put it into perspective, if my appartment suddenly caught on fire, this is one of the first items I'd grab. This is coming from a 21yr old student and not a seasoned professional, but to push this fire buisness, this text has lit the 'spark' of typography within me.
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Format: Hardcover
Elements is pretty much a one-stop shop for typography. In it, you can find just about every rule, tradition and concept that defines how the printed word is supposed to look. While its focus is fonts in print and how best to define their display, the author also touches on identifying fonts, picking them, combining them, designing them and even using them on the web. Bringhurst has even included a chapter on traditional layouts going back five-hundred years or so.

If I had a criticism of this book, which I honestly don't, it would be about the author's unwavering mindset regarding typographic design. Each time I refer to it, which is often, I feel that if I don't follow Bringhurst's words to the letter, he will show up at my door one day to slap me on the knuckles with his wooden yardstick. I can't call this a criticism, though, as the author truly does believe in what he writes...wow, does he believe.

I believe that this text should be within arms reach of every designer that works with text; those new to the game, as well as those that remember Letraset transfers. It truly is all-inclusive and well written.
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Format: Paperback
If you were allowed only one book on typography, it should be this one. Bringhurst is a poet. He loves language, written language, and all its parts. That love comes through in the text and the visual presentation of every page.
Bringhurst advocates a subdued typographic style. This makes good sense in the vast majority of cases, since typography is the servant of the text that it carries. Like any good servant, it should be unobtrusive, well dressed, and competent to handle every task it is given, quietly and promptly. Bringhurst demonstrates nearly everything he says, starting first with this book itself.
The book is a beautiful artifact, with an elegant and informative page layout. Body text, side- and foot-notes, references, running titles, and more - they all fit together well on the page. Each kind of information is set off only slightly, but clearly and predictably. The content is well organized: prose in the early chapters, reference material in the later chapters and appendices, and all the intermediates in the middle of the book. Diagrams and tables are minimalist and communicative.
The text spans centuries, from ancient Egyptian page layouts to the rationale behind Unicode. Bringhurst is passionate about typography's history, and insists that it inform every modern decision about print and printing. He embraces the new just as much, and is careful to note the strengths and weaknesses of each typographic technology.
Bringhurst discusses far too many topics to touch on here. In every case, though, he brings his poet's sense to all of the writing, using witty, descriptive language for even the most mundane of technical issues. The one weakness I saw was in the geometry of page layouts. I like his mathematical rigor and esthetic practicality.
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Format: Paperback
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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