Lettering & Type: Creating Letters & Designing Typefaces Paperback – Sep 1 2009
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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Check out Karen Cheng's 'Designing Type' and Leslie Cabarga's 'Logo Font & Lettering Bible' if you really want to learn the subject.
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. [...]
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.
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.