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Lettering & Type: Creating Letters & Designing Typefaces Paperback – Sep 1 2009

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  • Lettering & Type: Creating Letters & Designing Typefaces
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  • Designing Type
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Archit.Press; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156898765X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987651
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #454,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

For nearly a decade, Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals have collaborated under the label Post Typography on creative projects encompassing graphic design, illustration, typography, lettering, and printmaking with additional forays into art, apparel, music, curatorial work, design theory, and vandalism. They both live in Baltimore.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9dfb9cb4) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d757aa4) out of 5 stars Just skims the surface May 2 2010
By BN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
OK for beginners, but mostly redundant for intermediate/advanced design students. The first half of the book is a very basic rehash of typography 101 (e.g. "this is an ascender. this is a counter"). We finally get into type design/lettering in the second half, but the information provided is very light - we mostly get a showcase of different kinds of custom lettering and bare bones intro to letterforms and typeface design. This is also not a how-to guide - doesn't really get into the mechanics of lettering, and offers few examples of it.

Check out Karen Cheng's 'Designing Type' and Leslie Cabarga's 'Logo Font & Lettering Bible' if you really want to learn the subject.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d757af8) out of 5 stars Great intro book for aspiring type designers Sept. 29 2009
By Jason Castle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Acknowledging that "mastering the art of arranging letters in space and time is essential knowledge for anyone who crafts communications for page or screen," this book's focus is on letterforms themselves and even creating them (type design) rather than on arranging them beautifully (typography). Type design is an art (or perhaps 'craft' would be a better word) that requires a blend of both technical and visual skills, and in fact covers such a broad range of disciplines that it can be somewhat intimidating. But, this book seems to provide a "friendly, openhearted introduction" to type design, with a brief overview of the history of the written and printed word, typeface classification and terminology, case studies and type design exercises. There are also interviews with some of the luminaries in this field, including renowned type designer Christian Schwartz, whom I remember when he was starting out at the age of 14!

As in any visual art, type design is a matter of developing your eye, so learning to really look at letters critically is essential. The chapter of this book that I think might be most helpful to the beginning type designer is appropriately titled "Designing Typefaces", which illustrates many of the subtle tricks a designer must use to compensate for optical illusions and such. This is the one area that separates professional type designers from the wannabes, and I must confess that I'm still trying to master it. So, I suggest book-marking this chapter. [...]
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d757dd4) out of 5 stars promising but too thin for the subject Aug. 22 2010
By Ricky B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that covers too many topics for a thin (128 pages) and small (7 x 9 inch) volume and consequently does justice to no one topic as well as an illustrated magazine article. Its section "A Compressed History of the Roman Alphabet" fails to mention Gutenberg (though he is mentioned once in a latter chapter) and the text is so sparsely illustrated I'm afraid it will do more to confuse readers than inform them. Its section, "Lettering As Image" is mostly contemporary with the worse examples of its kind I've seen, this subject goes back to the Greeks though the authors begin with the 1890s Art Nouveau.

While this book is not an academic text or how-to book I am using it as a required text in my beginning type class since Karen Cheng's book, Designing Type is currently out of print. The book covers many of the essentials: Type Anatomy (which it calls "Letter Structures"), Typeface Classification Categories (though there is no section on typeface comparison & only the cap & lower case letter "a" is typeset), Calligraphy, Book and Display type (there is also a brief section on "Creating Text Letters & Book Types that is good) and end with a section on designing typefaces. However, this last section is only 17 pages and only covers one typeface, Franklin Gothic. Many of the books marginal captions and notes are the more interesting and informative parts of the book.

The book does one thing well that I am hoping my students will appreciate; and that's its emphasis on how handwriting and hand lettering have functioned as inspirational models in contemporary type design.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d757ccc) out of 5 stars Great overview of lettering and type design Jan. 19 2012
By El Conde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As an artist and designer who's interested in all forms of design, this book was a great introduction to the world of letters. It provides a fascinating background on the alphabet, fonts, and lettering and helps explain the difference between handwriting, lettering, and typography.

This book seems like it would be a great resource for a graphic design student or illustrator who wants to learn more about making their own letters and fonts. Or for someone who is already working a lot with typography and wants to improve their knowledge and skill base it will probably be informative. Looking at some of the examples in the book and reading about the histories of different letter styles inspired me to incorporate more lettering and type into my own work.

I can see what some of the other reviewers are saying that this book will probably not have a lot of new info for an advanced type designer. But for a designer like me who didn't know much about type design and the world of custom lettering, the book was a really enjoyable, informative read. It definitely makes me take a closer look at alphabet letters and typefaces.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d75b324) out of 5 stars Great resource Nov. 15 2012
By Mark A Gruber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Liked the e-book so much that I needed this for a "hands on" resource. Great to revisit and pull more tidbits on design knowledge from again and again. It doesn't hurt to have an inspiring instructor, or lettering enthusiast as well!