Nearly seven centuries have passed since Gutenberg's invention. Garfield discusses a bit of written communication that occurred before that time, and then spends a fair amount of time explaining what fonts are, how type was made, and how typesetting has been done. The bulk of the book identifies many fonts, describing their characteristics. A potentially dry topic is made interesting through numerous examples and a sprinkling of humor. "Comic sans walks in a bar and the bartender says, 'We don't serve your type'." Well, maybe you have to read the book...
As the author discusses various fonts, their creation, evolution, and use, much of his text concerns the feeling aroused by each font. This seemed a bit over the top to me, but when I got to page 174, where he set out ten versions of the lower case "g," I found that there were versions that I didn't like, and that they were easy to rank by preference. If you have ever wondered why your favorite books or movies have titles or text that draw your eye and seem to tell you something about the topic to be covered, this is the book for you.
Offbeat book on who created the fonts, who used them & how computers via word processing programs changed the game.
There even a chapter on clone font where the variant was a tweaked to avoid copyright. The biggest transgressor was Microsoft.
The final chapter on best & worst fonts good for a laugh.
For the reviewer below, the book was set in Sabon typeface (it says so about halfway through the book, on the upper half of a right side page somewhere). I've never heard of Sabon. Anyhow, this was an interesting book that tells you about the main fonts in life (Helvetica, Arial, Gill Sans, Verdana, Futura, Bodoni, etc.) and their history (who developed them, what year, their design goals, etc.)
I liked that it mentioned which fonts (typefaces, to be precise) are used most often for various purposes and steered me in the right direction for picking a font for some generic uses. The print book was nice because sometimes it showed several fonts side by side so you could compare them easily.
Did you know that Comic Sans is considered the most accessible font for dyslexic children? That Matthew Carter, the inventor of Verdana, got his start at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn? A lovingly crafted history of fonts, for aficionados and trivia buffs alike.
Quirky but fascinating book about the development of typeface, and what your chosen font says about you!
This is my 2nd attempt to write a review on the book “Just My Type” by Simon Garfield. I wrote this lovely review that got eaten by my phone so here we go again. A causal browse through my bookshelves will indicate that a book called “just my type” would be right up my preferred genre’s alley but you would be wrong.
This isn’t mass market romantic fiction but a book about fonts. I’m writing my review in Arial Narrow point 11 but have no idea what it will turn into when I copy and paste into the library and goodreads review sites. I recommend this book to just about everyone that has an interest in history, art, graphic design, or how the alphabet used can make or break a sales pitch.
I think you have to develop an eye for fonts like you develop an ear for sound when learning a foreign language or musical instrument. It is for this reason I give this book 4 instead of 5 stars, simply because I couldn’t figure out what font the main text was printed in. In the “good old days” of publishing a hard back book would often have a page at the end of the book saying this book was published in XYZ font, # point on an ABC printing press. I always looked at those pages and thought, Huh, why does the average reader care. I think the average reader doesn’t but that was a subtle marketing tactic by the publishers and perhaps required by the font designers so credit was given where credit was due. The author may have stated the type of font used but I missed it. I found the info about digital fonts sad but inevitable.
I have always known that fonts played a big part in marketing messages and advertisements, in which the way an alphabetic letter is shapes brings out differing emotions in people. I didn’t really get into whys and wherefores of different fonts until I started selling Yellow Book ads and many business owners wanted a font that matched their logo in their display ads. I wanted their ads to be legible. I truly believe a good font in most cases is undemanding of its reader because of good clarity and legibility.
I’ve seen a Gutenberg Bible and understand the revolution that he caused by inventing the movable type printing press. (That was a 4th or 5th grade trip to the Gutenberg museum in Mainz Germany, http://www.gutenberg-museum.de/index.php?id=29&L=1 (where my more pressing concern was what I was going to drink at lunch, we were asked while traveling from school on the army school bus for our orders so the restaurant would be ready for us. The options were Coke (forbidden in my house) and mineral water (which can be delicious or nasty depending on the brand and I didn’t know which brand would be offered), & tap water was most assuredly not being served by the wait staff that accommodated 60 plus American school kids after the trip to the museum)). But since I could read some German I read the placards while touring the museum and admired the fancy work done by the monks in the pre-mass printing bibles on display. Fonts have come a long way since Gutenberg and this is an enjoyable read.
Not a typical book I would read but browsed through it after seeing it on the Fast Reads section and seemed intriguing. Picked it up and turned out to be very interesting, informative and funny at times. A fun geeky read.
This is about type, not personality type, but type. What you are reading now. and what you will be reading next. Font affects our emotions and our choices. Font makes us think of time past or present or future. And ever since Gutenburg carved the first letter out we have been seeing what the letters not only say but how they speak to us.
Entertaining, covered a lot of ground, moved quickly. Book is well written and well designed. A pleasure.
abraham_8 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and under
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