In 2008, I pointed you to the website of publisher Scott & Nix, Inc. and their pick of “100 Typographic Books”.
Charles Nix, who curated the list, described it like this: “One hundred books about typography might seem like a lot, but actually, it just scratches the surface. Consider this a start. Below are a selection of the typographic books on our shelves…”
Sadly, the list is gone. Scott & Nix is still alive and kicking but Charles Nix, when he moved on to become the Type Director at Monotype, shared the list on the website of the Type Directors Club but, alas, that too is gone to the great internet archive in the sky (and the Internet Archive).
After sharing a few emails with Mr. Nix, he has graciously allowed me to reprise the list. All 100 books are listed with the addition of three sub-category designations Charles invented narrow the offerings for those who don’t aspire to hunt them all down: [must see], [should see], and [see also] (you’ll find them at the end of the titles they apply to). My contribution has been to add some further details about the books and links to resources related to them.
It makes for a very long list, but it’s all text so it isn’t taxing on your device or difficult to navigate. But then I’m a linear kind of guy.
About Charles Nix
Charles Nix is a typographer, educator, and designer—a type director for Monotype and chairman emeritus of the board of the Type Directors Club, an educator at Parsons School of Design in New York, and formally co-owner of Scott & Nix, highly respected small publisher.
Listed alphabetically by title.
20th Century Type Designers
by Sebastian Carter
From the publisher: “This new edition of the text first published in 1987 includes an examination of the latest technological developments in the design and composition of type, and introduces the work of some of the more recent designers to have made their mark this century.
Although the skeleton shapes of the letters of our alphabet hardly change, many skilled type designers have devoted much time, sometimes their whole lives, to drawing different versions of the outlines. This book serves as an introduction to the concept of typefaces and to some of the personalities who have created them—oudy, Rogers, Koch, Gill, Morison, Van Krimpen, Trump, Tschichold, Frutiger, and Zapf—and places them in the context of the enormous changes that have occurred the 20th century in the methods of creating and setting type.”
The ABC’s of Triangle, Square, Circle: The Bauhaus and Design Theory
by Ellen Lupton
From the publisher: “The Bauhaus, the legendary school in Dessau, Germany, transformed architecture and design around the world. This book broke new ground when first published in 1991 by introducing psychoanalysis, geometry, early childhood education, and popular culture into the standard political history of the Bauhaus. The ABC’s of Triangle, Square, Circle also introduced two young designers, Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, whose multidisciplinary approach changed the field of design writing and research.”
ABC of Lettering and Printing Typefaces: A Complete Guide to the Letters and Typefaces Used for Typesetting and Printing [see also]
by Erik Lindgren
American Wood Type, 1828–1900 [see also]
by Rob Roy Kelly
From the publisher: “The first and most authoritative history of wood type in the United States is now reissued in paperback. This book tells the complete story of wood type, beginning with the history of wood as a printing material, the development of decorated letters and large letters, and the invention of machinery for mass-producing wood letters. The 19th-century heyday of wood type is explored in great detail, including all aspects of design, manufacture, and marketing, and the evolution of styles. Many related trades interacted with wood type production; the book examines the influence of lithography, letterpress, metal-plate and wood engraving, sign painting and calligraphy, poster printing, and type-founding.
Long out of print, the book is still regarded by scholars and designers as an invaluable resource for a rich legacy of typographic art. More than 600 specimens of wood type are classified and annotated, as are more than 100 specimens of complete fonts. This reissue includes a new foreword by David Shields, Design Curator of the Rob Roy Kelly Wood Type Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, discussing the renewed interest in the subject since the mid-1990s as well as ongoing research into the history of wood type.”
Anatomy of a Typeface
by Alexander S. Lawson
From the publisher: “To the layman, all printing types look the same. But for typographers, graphic artists and others of that lunatic fringe who believe that the letters we look at daily (and take entirely for granted) are of profound importance, the question of how letters are formed, what shape they assume, and how they have evolved remains one of passionate and continuing concern.
Lawson explores the vast territory of types, their development and uses, their antecedents and offspring, with precision, insight, and clarity. Written for the layman but containing exhaustive research, drawings and synopses of typefaces, this book is an essential addition to the library of anyone s typographic library. It is, as Lawson states, not written for the printer convinced that there are already too many typefaces, but rather for that curious part of the population that believes the opposite; that the subtleties of refinement as applies to roman and cursive letters have yet to be fully investigated and that the production of the perfect typeface remains a goal to be as much desired by present as by future type designers. Anyone aspiring to typographic wisdom should own and treasure this classic.”
An Approach to Type
by John R. Biggstype direct
From the publisher: “A type specimen book that also introduces the reader to the study of type. With sections on size, legibility, classification, rules, and paper.”
An Essay on Typography [should see]
by Eric Gill
From the publisher: “Born in 1882, Gill was an artist, letter carver, gadfly, polemicist, and social reformer. In 1925, he had started drawing alphabets and printing books, and in 1931, this plainspoken little book was a fustian and forceful argument for common sense in design, composed for anyone remotely interested in the subtle and evolving challenge of the typographic arts. Set rag right, with tight word spacing, it is a model of composition. The text, like most of Gill’s, is exasperating, exorbitant, and exciting. But Gill was, above all, a craftsman, whose work always reflected his philosophy and whose hand always followed his moral convictions.”
by Huda Smitshuijzen Abifares
From the publisher: “In the twenty-first century, the widespread integration of computer technologies has brought text-based information into many facets of everyday life. This has caused an ever-growing interest in typography across many fields of visual communication, where text and letterform play a central role in disseminating social trends and reflecting the spirit of the times.
Arabic Typography takes the reader through a comprehensive study of Arabic letterforms, starting with a concise historical overview of their development and styles, and proceeding to the latest design and technological advances. It attempts to establish the foundations for Arabic type-design by drawing lessons from past practices and aesthetic conventions, in order to retain the enduring traits that are of relevance for improvement and innovation in future type-design creations.
Going beyond the historical facts to discuss current design issues pertaining to the creation and production of letterforms, it presents Arabic typographic design as an essential communication tool that should marry functionality and legibility to aesthetic delight.
This book will serve as a valuable reference on Arabic typography, and as an educational guide for design students, professionals and anyone who uses Arabic type and enjoys the visual appearance of this language and its letterforms.”
The Art of Graphic Design [see also]
by Bradbury Thompson
From the publisher: “Bradbury Thompson (1911–1995) remains one of the most admired and influential graphic designers of the twentieth century, having trained a generation of design students while on the faculty of the Yale School of Art for more than thirty years. The art director of Mademoiselle and design director of Art News and Art News Annual in the decades after World War II, Thompson was also a distinguished designer of limited-edition books, postage stamps, rationalized alphabets, corporate identification programs, trademarks, and sacred works (most notably the Washburn College Bible). Thompson also designed more than sixty issues of Westvaco Inspirations, a magazine that was published by the Westvaco Corporation and distributed to thousands of printers, designers, and teachers to show the range and versatility of printing papers. Thompson was especially revered for his ability to adapt classic typography for the modern world.”
Art of the Printed Book, 1455–1955
by Joseph Blumenthal
From the interior cover flap (front): “Masterpieces of Typography Through Five Centuries from the Collections of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. This handsome, fully illustrated, meticulously produced volume fills a long-standing gap in the history of books concerned with distinguished typography and bookmaking. Neither a print manual nor a technical treatise, it was written by an accomplished designer and printer and presents concisely and consecutively, the history and romance of the greatly printed books. It includes descriptions of the lives of the great printers Gutenberg, de Tournes, Baskerville, Aldus, etc., and presents the historical backgrounds under which their noble folios were made. Lehman and amateurs of the book will read it with pleasure; professionals involved in bookmaking, including designers, printers, publishers, librarians, and booksellers, will find it a useful and authoritative addition to the literature.
Art of the Printed Book was written by Joseph Blumenthal, a practitioner whose Spiral Press set a long acknowledged standard in the small company of fine printers in the United States and Europe. It is, in one sense, a personal selection, dependent on Mr. Blumenthal‘s exacting aesthetic standards and, and another, testament to the discrimination and collections of that preeminent repository of typography, the Morgan Library. The 112 books selected and reproduced, from the Gutenberg Bible to the twentieth-century words of Rogers, Gill, Updike, Meynell, and Mardersteig, are among the finest copies known and, as would be expected from the Morgan library and Mr. Blumenthal, no effort has been spared in the production, design, or illustration of this impressive volume. It presents the book as an object to beauty and printers as men of sensitivity, taste, and training. This book belongs on the shelf at every library and bibliophile; it further belongs in the home of all persons interested in the slow and subtle development of the book, art’s most conservative craft and history is most reliable repository.”
The Art of Typography, An Introduction to Typo-icon-ography
by Martin Solomon
From the publisher: “Explores the aesthetics of effective typographic design—line, mass, texture, planes, and tonal value—and includes a comparative chart of more than two hundred typefaces.”
Asymmetric Typography [must see]
by Jan Tschichold
From the publisher: “A landmark book in typographic design in which Tschichold advanced his ideas on asymmetric typography. He later recognized that there were two approaches to design problems and asymmetric was not necessarily the best.”
by Betty Binns
From the publisher: “To achieve excellence in typography, designers must be able to perceive subtle differences in the relationships between faces, letters, & spaces. This book trains designers to make these fine discriminations, with the aim of specifying text type that is readable, beautiful & expressive. The author clearly demonstrates how such factors as the design of the typeface, line spacing, work spacing, & letter spacing affect type color. Using the same piece of text set in different faces or with slight variations in spacing, she demonstrates how designers can determine when there is too much space or too little & how they affect legibility & readability.”
Book Typography: A Designer’s Manual
by Michael and Susan Wightman Mitchell
From the publisher: “Books depend on good design to communicate. This practical guide to typography explains the principles of good design, why they exist and when and how to put them into practice.”
Champ Rose, Wherein May Be Discovered the Roman Letters That Were Made by Geoffroy Tory and Printed by Him at Paris in His Book Called “Champ Fleury”
by Bruce Rogers
by Fred Smeijers
From the publisher: “Western typography is still dominated by letterforms designed in the first hundred years of printing. What were the processes that lie behind these forms? This book provides a close-up view of the work of the sixteenth-century French and Flemish punchcutters. On the basis both of his own experience in making type and a hard look at the surviving evidence, Fred Smeijers blows away the antiquarian dust that now covers the topic. As an introduction to this discussion, he outlines fundamental issues in letter and type design. The last chapters consider punchcutting in the light of current technical and social developments.
Counterpunch shows that the old processes echo on, giving lessons for contemporary practice. The book will appeal to anyone curious about type and what can be done with letters.”
Design of Books
by Adrian Wilson
From the publisher: “In 1967, award-winning designer Adrian Wilson wrote a seminal work on book design. It was published to enthusiastic critical acclaim, The Design of Books has since become the classic on the subject. This is a newly re-issued volume in 1993 and contains 250 outstanding design samples, many by leading international designers, accompanied by Adrian Wilson’s insightful and inspirational text. A monumental achievement, The Design of Books is a work of art in itself and an essential addition to every designer’s library. This book is considered a classic on the subject of the craft of bookmaking. A practical and effective compendium of information and inspiration for the book designer, this seminal work provides professionals and students of the book in typographic design with numerous design approaches and the information necessary to prepare layouts and carry a book through the production process.
Illustrated with 250 superb design samples, many from the masterpieces of leading book designers, the book presents the principles and methods essential to planning and executing the design of a wide variety of publications, including limited editions, manuals, encyclopedias, trade, and reference books. Wilson’s thorough text discusses in detail every aspect of book composition—from the manuscript, layout, typography, and paper to jacket in paperback covers, binding, and printing process. This book was out of print since 1998, but the 1999 edition of The Design of Books includes a forward by Sumner Stone, which brings this classic work into the computer age. The author’s spirited approach to subject can be seen in his directive to the reader in the introduction: The criterion is imaginative appropriateness—that sense of delightful surprise which draws a reader to a book and sends him out of the store or library with it under his arm, which gives the book club or mail order subscriber a glow of delight and an irresistible desire to read.”
Design Writing Research [see also]
by Ellen Lupton
From the publisher: “This critical study of graphic design and typography is a source for anyone interested in the art and history of books, letterforms, symbols, advertising, and theories of visual and verbal communication. A section on theory considers the centrality of the written and printed word to post-structuralism and deconstruction. A wide range of design practices are discussed, from the history of punctuation and the origins of international pictograms to the structure of modern typography. A section on media looks at the role of design in mass communications with essays on stock photography, visual journalism, illustration, advertising and vernacular design cultures. The book closes with history, a section organised as a time line spanning 200 years of design in America. These historical case studies show how the modern profession of graphic design emerged in response to cultural, political and economic developments in the US.”
by Jost Hochuli, Robin Kinross
From the publisher: “This book has three parts. In the first two, basic principles in the theory and practice of book design are discussed. The third part then shows how the ideas of the first and second parts have been applied in particular examples. ‘Book design as a school of thought’ was originally delivered (in German) as a lecture and published as a pamphlet, in 1991. This is its first publication in English. ‘Designing books’ was published as a separate booklet by Agfa (Wilmington, Mass.) in 1989, in German. Translation into several other languages followed, including an English edition (1990): all long out of print. The version published here has been revised and considerably augmented with new illustrations. The third part, ‘Books designed by Jost Hochuli’, is completely new. Here Robin Kinross comments on 27 of Hochuli’s works. Both authors are internationally known, Kinross more as critic and historian, Hochuli above all as a practitioner. In this book they offer a serious introduction to book design, free of ideological dogma. Short and concise, it contains a rich, painstakingly selected fund of illustrations.”
Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography [must see]
by James Craig, William Bevington, Irene Korol Scala
From the publisher: “The classic Designing with Type has been completely redesigned, with an updated format and full color throughout. New information and new images make this perennial best-seller an even more valuable tool for anyone interested in learning about typography. The fifth edition has been integrated with a convenient website, www.designingwithtype.com, where students and teachers can examine hundreds of design solutions and explore a world of typographic information. First published more than thirty-five years ago, Designing with Type has sold more than 250,000 copies—and this fully updated edition, with its new online resource, will educate and inspire a new generation of designers.”
Dimensional Typography: Case Studies on The Shape of Letters in Virtual Environments
by J. Abbott Miller
From the publisher: “Today’s computer technologies have allowed for the creation of new spaces for typographic communication. This collection of drawings, photographs, and typefaces explores some of the ideas that might govern the logic of three-dimensional type. It presents and analyzes letterforms based on both traditional and contemporary typefaces, freely mixing historical references and futuristic aspirations.
Author J. Abbott Miller considers the ways in which letters have become three-dimensional in certain genres such as signage, and discusses how typefaces have incorporated the illusion of dimensionality on the printed page.”
The Education of a Typographer
by Steven Heller
From the publisher: “Exploring the methods for teaching and learning typography, this book features more than 40 essays from top experts and educators in typography today. These essays run the gamut from introducing the themes of type and typography to various complex and rare strategies for learning.”
In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.
ROBERT BRINGHURST, The Elements of Typographic Style
The Elements of Typographic Style [must see]
by Robert Bringhurst
From the publisher: “Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide. Combining the practical, theoretical, and historical, this edition is completely updated, with a thorough revision and updating of the longest chapter, “Prowling the Specimen Books,” and many other small but important updates based on things that are continually changing in the field.”
Emigre: Graphic Design into the Digital Realm
by Rudy Vanderlans (Author), Zuzana Licko (Author), Mary E. Gray (Editor), Jeffery Keedy (Essay)
From the publisher: “In 1984 a radically new graphic design magazine set out to explore the as-yet-untapped and uncharted possibilities of Macintosh-generated graphic design. Boldly new and different, Emigre broke rules, opened eyes and earned its creators, Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, cult status in the world of graphic design. After a decade of publishing, the jury is still out on Emigre. But now, thanks to this comprehensive 10-year retrospective, you can reach your own conclusions. Are Emigre’s Mac-generated graphics important, influential and controversial…or just plain ugly? You decide. “The only people who have trouble reading Emigre are graphic designers who have been trained to make type clear. The rest of the world doesn’t live in that purist atmosphere.” —Chuck Byrne, Print Magazine, September 1992 Here gathered together for the first time, you’ll find: Every Emigre cover ever issued A full catalog of over 80 Emigre typefaces Emigre’s most striking editorial layouts Plus stimulating and provocative commentary from both Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko How has a magazine that prints just 7,000 copies managed to outrage so many graphic designers while inspiring so many others? The answer is in your hands.”
The Encyclopaedia of Typefaces [should see]
by William Turner Berry, Alfred Forbes Johnson. W. Pincus Jaspart
From the publisher: “For over 50 years, Encyclopaedia of Typefaces has been the dominant typeface guide and now the internationally celebrated work is published in a new 55th Anniversary edition.
With over 2,000 type faces arranged alphabetically and into three sections—Romans, Lineales and Scripts—this is the most accessible and easy-to-use edition yet. Each entry includes a specimen setting, the original founder or manufacturer, as well as the date of introduction.
This definitive desktop reference guide is invaluable for historical relevance as well as for modern printers, graphic designers, publishers, typographers and desktop publishers.”
Fine Print on Type: The Best of Fine Print on Type and Typography, 1977-1988
by Paul H. Duensing (Author), Charles Bigelow (Editor), Paul Hayden Duensing (Editor), Linnea Gentry (Editor)
From the publisher: “A collection of essays on type design and typography, written by some of the foremost designers and scholars in the field. Appeals to those who use, study, and love type—from advertising designers to desktop publishers, from research bibliographers to just plain discerning readers. TYPE, seemingly a neutral conveyor, can radically affect the meaning and impact of the message. Types covered include the up-to-date and quotidian like ITC Zapf Chancery, Galliard, and Century, as well as little-known but interesting historical faces like Fleischmann Antiqua, Hiero-Rhode Italic, and Hammer Uncial. Here sixteenth- and seventeenth-century type designers like Claude Garamond and Miklos Kis share the stage with the “bit wizards” of our own time like Kris Holmes and Sumner Stone.”
Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type
by Geoffrey Dowding
From the publisher: “When Stanley Morison wrote in First Principles of Typography that “Typography does not so much need Inspiration or Revival as Investigation.” he may well have had Geoffrey Dowding in mind. Few people investigate, dissect and care about type with the passion and intensity of Dowding. He probes into every aspect & use of type and space, from word and letter arrangement to the design of type itself.”
First Principles of Typography [should see]
by Stanley Morison
Preface: “The following essay towards a rationale of book typography was first attempted as an article, s.v. ‘Typography’, in the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago and London, 1929).
It was reconsidered and entirely rewritten for The Fleuron no. VII (Cambridge, 1930). As the brevity of this essay seems to be one of its most approved qualities, no expansion, and only slight revision was made in successive editions.
When a new German translation was authorized in 1962, a lengthy postscript was supplied to explain why the reprinting of this essay in unaltered form could be justified by its author after the passage of more than thrity years. A shortened form of this postscript was included in the first French translation in 1966 and is her published in English for the first time.
I may be added that while the principles here set forth apply to the typography of books, the sections dealing with composition may be adapted to the design of newspapers and publicity. Those interested in the composition of advertising matter may be referred to my paper ‘On Advertisement Settings in Signature no. 3 (London, 1936). S.M., February 1967″
Five Hundred Years of Printing
by Sigfrid Henry Steinberg
From the publisher: “This highly readable survey traces the history of printing with movable type from its 15th-century beginnings in Gutenberg’s workshop to the technical advances of the 20th century. Observations on type design, book production, bestsellers, censorship, and other topics explore associations between printing and education, language, and literature.
S. H. Steinberg’s classic study begins with the creative century, from 1450 to 1550, which witnessed the invention and origins of practically every single feature that characterizes modern printing. A look at the era of consolidation follows, noting additional developments and refinements. The final section examines the 19th century and its era of mechanization, which began with the invention of lithography and ended with William Morris’s rediscovery of the Middle Ages. The book concludes with the radical innovations of the 20th century, ranging from new methods of production and distribution to the changing habits of producers and readers.”
The Form of the Book: Essays on the morality of good design
by Jan Tschichold
Glossary of Typesetting Terms
by Richard Eckersley, Richard Angstadt, Charles M. Ellertson, Richard Hendel, Naomi B. Pascal, Anita Walker Scott
From the publisher: “This glossary combines a dictionary and style guide. Prepared by a team of professionals—a designer, editor, compositors and production managers—this glossary should be of interest to anyone who works in publishing or printing for its definitions of typographical terms and concise treatment of typographical style. The glossary adds details to discussions of typography that are covered more generally in editorial style guides such as “The Chicago Manual of Style”. It should be useful for anyone who prepares texts for a living, including those who implement their own typesetting decisions with the aid of word-processing and page-layout software.
This manual provides a common technical vocabulary for specialists and non-specialists alike. More than 900 entries provide meanings for traditional terms such as “kerning”, “bleed” and “thumbnail”, and provide definitions of new phrases, such as “global search and replace”, “H & J” (hyphenation and justification) and “idiot file”, that have been developed to describe the role of computer technology in typesetting. Eight appendices offer additional guidance. The house-style sheets of G & S typesetters provide a sample checklist of items that affect the way words are composed into professional quality type. Other appendices cover families of type, the parts of a book, the parts of a letter, coding and marking a manuscript in the precise language of typesetters, writing specifications for tables, proofreaders’ marks and special characters.”
Richard Eckersley is principal designer at the University of Nebraska Press.
Richard Angstadt is president and compositor at Keystone Typesetting, Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.
Charles M. Ellertson is co-owner and compositor at Tseng Information Systems in Durham, North Carolina.
Richard Hendel is associate director and design and production manager at the University of North Carolina Press
Naomi B. Pascal is associate director and editor-in-chief at the University of Washington Press.
Anita Walker Scott is design and production manager at the John Hopkins University Press.
Herb Lubalin: Art Director, Graphic Designer & Typographer
by Gertrude Snyder, Alan Peckolick
From the publisher: “Examples of Lubalin’s designs for posters, typefaces, logos, magazines, annual reports, advertising, packaging, and book jackets.”
Hermann Zapf & His Design Philosophy
by Hermann Zapf
From the publisher: “The book includes selected articles and lectures by the prominent designer Hermann Zapf on calligraphy, type design and typography, as well as a detailed catalog of his typefaces. The author covers a wide range of creative and practical issues related to the development and application of a typeface in the past, the present and the future.”
In the Day’s Work
by Daniel Berkeley Updike
From the publisher: “To preach and at the same time to practice lies unfortunately beyond the power of most human beings, and so Daniel Updike’s new volume has at least one distinction: it not only formulates the laws of good printing, but it embodies the standards which have made Updike one of the greatest modern printers and have placed his Merrymount Press among the most important printing-houses of the world. His three essays are entitled “On the Planning of Printing,” “Style in the Use of Type,” and “The Seven Champions of Typography.” The book will be a source of instruction and delight to everyone who occasionally needs the services of a printer, and especially to book-collectors as a compendium of typographical taste.”
Jan Tschichold: Typographer
by Ruari McLean
From the publisher: “This profusely illustrated book contains examples of Tschichold’s early work that have never appeared before in any English-language publication, and includes the only translations of several of his most important essays. “Jan Tschichold: Typographer” is a major study, filled with valuable information, and is crucial to the understanding of this vastly influential typographer and book designer. It remains an indispensable resource for all students and graphic and typographic arts.”
John Baskerville of Birmingham Letter-Founder & Printer
by Frank Ernest Pardoe
From the publisher: “Baskerville was concerned with every thing to do with the art and craft of printing, from the design of type to the improvement of the print and paper technology of his day. It is F.E. Pardoe’s contention that it is high time That Baskerville was recognised as the greatest printer Britain has ever produced, a man who practised his trade with inventiveness and an appealingly non-commercial sense of perfectionism.”
Language Culture Type: International Type Design in the Age of Unicode
by John D. Berry
From the publisher: “Language Culture Type grew out of the first international type-design competition, the 2001 bukva:raz!, whose goal was to promote global cultural pluralism, interaction, and diversity in typographic communications. The book lavishly presents the winning entries, along with information about each typeface, its language, and its designer. A series of essays gives context for the interplay of types and languages in the world today including the attempt to mesh all existing scripts into a single digital encoding system called Unicode. It also delves into the specific issues around developing typefaces for the many linguistic cultures in the world, from the various Cyrillic letterforms to Vietnam’s ancient ideographic script.”
Lay In—Lay Out; En Ander Oud Zeer
by Piet Schreuders
The author: “With Lay In—Lay Out I just wanted to stir things up a little, and to point to the fact that there were plenty of other things worthy of attention beyond what was at the time considered Good Design.”
Layout in Advertising [must see]
by William Addison Dwiggins
From the publisher: “A splendid desk manual for all copy-writers. It contains an abundance of practical suggestions on advertising layout. The text is copiously illustrated with sketches by the author, who is widely known in the advertising and typographic world.”
Leben und Werk des Typographen Jan Tschichold (Life and work of the typographer Jan Tschichold)
by Jan Tschichold
Letter Forms, Typographic and Scriptorial, Two Essays
by Stanley Morison
From the publisher: “To understand the language and development of type is to know its history. Letter Forms is a collection of essays by and about Stanley Morison, adviser to Monotype, and the greatest type historian of our times. An essay by Beatrice Warde is an illuminating introduction to the man referred to as a “typographic firmament.”
In his own words Morison then relates the history of classifying typographical variations and delves into the literature on the subject of letterforms. Finally, the author uncovers the significance of the discovery of the 16th century manuscripts by Horfei in the Vatican Library.
This classic typography book uncovers one of the fundamental truths of typography. “What they call originality is achieved by getting down to the root principle underlying the practice. From that origin you think your way back to the surface, where you may find you’re breaking untrodden ground.” For the true student of typography and the fine art of distinguishing “between things that differ,” the historical insights of Letter Forms will be a source of inspiration and a glimpse into the mind of one of the most gifted typography scholars of this century.”
Letterletter: An Inconsistent Collection of Tentative Theories That Do Not Claim Any Other Authority Than That of Common Sense
by Gerrit Noordzij
From the publisher: “This iconoclastic collection of essays on typography, writing and life is the work of Gerrit Noordzij, a master calligrapher and teacher of lettering and type design at The Hague. Letterletter opens up whole new perspectives on not just the world of letterforms but on the world and the written word, in general. Occasionally cranky, always well-written and insightful, Letterletter is an invaluable design tool and, more importantly, a pure pleasure to read. As Noordzij notes, “Its lack of dignity, authority and tolerance could not prevent Letterletter from becoming a collectors item.”
Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design
by Walter Tracy
From the publisher: “THE REVOLUTION in typesetting—a revolution that over the past two decades has eliminated a five-hundred-year-old system of hot metal production and replaced it with one of photo-generated and computer-driven composition—shows no sign of winding down. This book, more than any other we know, traces the steps that went into that revolution and simultaneously makes the argument that the letter forms themselves are in process of evolution. Tracy argues that, whether they are of the sixteenth or the twentieth century, the forms that comprise our alphabet are subject to the same rules of good taste, proportion, and clarity that have always obtained. But what we face today is vastly different from fifty years ago. For the first time, new technology has made the proliferation (and, as some would maintain, debasement) of letter forms fast and easy (or quick and dirty.)
With fifty years of professional experience on both sides of the Atlantic (including thirty years as head of type design for the British Linotype Company), Tracy is in a unique position to make this argument and arrive at his sad conclusion: the design of distinguished, contemporary typefaces is far outnumbered by the mediocre and downright bad. Part of the reason for this deplorable deterioration is a lack of critical analysis of the particular esthetics involved. This step-by-step examination of type-design esthetics is precisely what Tracy provides here, while avoiding both the promoter’s hype and the manufacturer’s claims. Here are the gut issues of what makes type good or bad, legible or unreadable. Extensively illustrated with both typefaces and line drawings, this book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the history of letters or in the artistry and peculiar problems that lie behind their production.”
Life with Letters—As They Turned Photogenic
by Edward Rondthaler
From the publisher: An autobiography of one who has been involved with the changes that have taken place in the printing process. Filled with illustrations.
Manuale Tipografico [should see]
by Giambattista Bodoni, David Pankow, David Darling
From the publisher: “Official printer for the Duke of Parma, Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813) declared that well-designed type derived its beauty from four principles: uniformity of design, sharpness and neatness, good taste, and charm. In his Manuale tipografico, published posthumously in 1818, he distilled these principles into a comprehensive catalog of type and set the standard for printing the alphabet thereafter.
TASCHEN’s meticulous reprint of Bodoni’s masterwork celebrates what was an unprecedented degree of technical refinement and visual elegance, as well as exploring the origins of the much-loved Bodoni typeface, still frequently deployed in both print and digital media. Like the original, the book features 142 sets of roman and italic typefaces, a wide selection of borders, ornaments, symbols, and flowers, as well as Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Phoenician, Armenian, Coptic, and Tibetan alphabets.”
Meggs’ History of Graphic Design [must see]
by Philip B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis
From the publisher: “The bestselling graphic design reference, updated for the digital age Meggs’ History of Graphic Design is the industry’s unparalleled, award-winning reference. With over 1,400 high-quality images throughout, this visually stunning text guides you through a saga of artistic innovators, breakthrough technologies, and groundbreaking developments that define the graphic design field. The initial publication of this book was heralded as a publishing landmark, and author Philip B. Meggs is credited with significantly shaping the academic field of graphic design.
Meggs presents compelling, comprehensive information enclosed in an exquisite visual format. The text includes classic topics such as the invention of writing and alphabets, the origins of printing and typography, and the advent of postmodern design. This new sixth edition has also been updated to provide:
> The latest key developments in web, multimedia, and interactive design
> Expanded coverage of design in Asia and the Middle East
> Emerging design trends and technologies
> Timelines framed in a broader historical context to help you better understand the evolution of contemporary graphic design
> Extensive ancillary materials including an instructor’s manual, expanded image identification banks, flashcards, and quizzes
You can’t master a field without knowing the history. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design presents an all-inclusive, visually spectacular arrangement of graphic design knowledge for students and professionals. Learn the milestones, developments, and pioneers of the trade so that you can shape the future.”
From Chuck Green: Phil Meggs began teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) the year before I began my studies there in the Basic Arts Program (followed by a year in the Communication Arts and Design Department). By 1974 He was the head of that department where he served until 1987, and as is noted in his obituary, “during which time enrollment doubled and the program rose to national prominence.”
The Metafont Book
Donald E. Knuth
From the publisher: “METAFONT is a system for the design of symbols and alphabetic characters suited to raster-based devices that print or display text. The construction of a typeface is an art form and this manual is written for people who wish to advance the quality of mathematical typesetting. The METAFONT Book enables readers, with only minimal computer science or word processing experience, to master the basic as well as the more advanced features of METAFONT programming. With this manual, readers will learn how to write a program using METAFONT that can customize a type design that already exists, create an entire alphabet from scratch, and create logos or special symbols.”
by Ellen Lupton
From the publisher: “Graphic design shapes the meaning and impact of all that we see and read. The aesthetic value and cultural pervasiveness of design has increased dramatically over the past fifteen years as technological innovations have triggered explosions of creativity in all forms of visual communication. From the printed page to the internet, typefaces, colors, logos, and images transmit information and ideas, generating a literacy of the eye that affects us every day.”
Modern Typography, 2nd Edition
From the publisher: “A brisk tour through the history of Western typography, from the time (c.1700 in France and England) when it can be said to have become ‘modern’. A spotlight is directed at different cultures in different times, to trace the developments and shifts in modern typography. Attention is given to ideas, to social context, and to technics, thus stepping over the limited and tired tropes of stylistic analysis. This is a reprint of the second edition, which has some variations in the pictures as well as corrections and updatings in the text.”
The New Typography [should see]
by Jan Tschichold
From the publisher: “Since its initial publication in Berlin in 1928, Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography has been recognized as the definitive treatise on book and graphic design in the machine age. First published in English in 1995, with an excellent introduction by Robin Kinross, this new edition includes a foreword by Rich Hendel, who considers current thinking about Tschichold’s life and work.”
Origin of the Serif, Second Edition [should see]
by Edward M. Catich (Author), Mary W. Gilroy (Editor)
From the publisher: “This handsomely illustrated book goes beyond a discussion of the serif. Here you will find a new approach to the history, lineage, and development of our alphabet, a detailed explanation of letter cutting in stone, the manner in which the brush differs from all other writing tools, and the role it played in the shaping of our classic Roman alphabet, with a wealth of other information pertinent to the graphic arts. During four years (1935-1939) of intensive paleographic and epigraphic research, in Rome, Italy, Fr. Catich saw and formulated the kinesthetic linkage between the inscription letter-making of Imperial Rome and his own familiar Chicago sign writing. The serif is the short cross stroke at the beginning and end of letter parts. Its origin in Roman inscription letters is one of the uncharted areas of paleography. In this book the author questions accepted theories as to the serif’s origin, and advances his own theory with skillful reasoning, detailed illustration, and epigraphic proof.”
Paragraphs on Printing [see also]
by Bruce Rogers
From the publisher: “Summation of principles, techniques. Nearly 100 illustrations of Rogers’ finest works.”
Period Styles: A History of Punctuation
by Ellen Lupton
From the publisher: “Catalog for an exhibition on typography and the history of punctuation, at the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at the Cooper Union.”
Practice of Typography: Modern Methods of Book Compostion
by Theodore Low De Vinne
From the publisher: “A treatise on the processes of type-making the point system, the names, sizes, styles and practices of plain printing types.
Preface: This treatise is a summary of detached notes collected by the writer since 1860. A desire to make it complete and exact has prevented its earlier publication. As an aid to this result each chapter has been revised recently by experts in different branches of printing. In its present corrected form it is believed that it will be found of use to all who seek for information about types which cannot be compressed within the ordinary manual of printing, or be gleaned quickly from the specimen books of many type-founders. The scope of the book has to be limited to plain types. Remarks concerning newspaper types, typographic decorations, and recent fashions in book-work, have to be postponed. The composition of title-pages may be the subject of another treatise.
In making the numerous corrections demanded by changes of fashion and new methods of manufacture, I have not considered it judicious to change the earlier and best-known name of any type foundry which has introduced a new face of type. Many of them are now branches of the American Type Founders Company. To accredit each face of type to a great company which has branches in many widely separated cities would not properly specify the maker or the place of manufacture.”
Printing Types: Their History, Form and Use [must see]
by Daniel Berkeley Updike
From the Introduction: “The purpose of this book is to supply a basis for the intelligent appreciation of the best printing types through the study of their history, forms, and use. As a preliminary we consider briefly the invention of printing, the cutting and casting of type, a font of type and its case, the measurement of type; supplementing this by a short account of the Latin alphabet and those manuscript book-hands which most influenced type-forms. This brings us to a study of the chief varieties of type in use in the fifteenth century, and from 1500 to 1800, in Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and England. Coming to the nineteenth century, the types of Bodoni, Didot, and Wilson are discussed; the English and American revival of older type-forms, and the influence of this revival on printing at the present time. We now have a foundation for a reasoned judgment of type-design, and the practical application of this judgment is developed in suggestions as to the choice of types for a composing-room. Finally, some of the excuses made for not printing better today are it is hoped — demolished in a paper on industrial conditions in the past.”
Rookledge’s Classic International Typefinder
by Christopher Perfect, Gordon Rookledge, Phil Baines
From the publisher: “First published in 1983 and updated in 1990, Rookledge’s classic international typefinder remains a unique reference source and working tool for graphic designers and typographers today. Highlighting the essential characteristics of over 700 typeface specimens, all fully cross-referenced to a comprehensive index, the book helps designers to recognise and identify typefaces seen and used on an everyday basis, and also provides assistance with the process of typeface selection.
Typefaces are grouped according to specific design features into categories—Venetian, Old Style, Transitional, Modern, Slab Serif, Wedge Serif, Sans Serif, Blackletter, Uncial, and many more—and the typefinding process is by visual inspection and elimination. Each category is prefaced with an introduction by Phil Baines examining its historical background.”
A Short History of the Printed Word
by Warren Chappell, Robert Bringhurst
From the publisher: “This classic volume should find its place on every design student’s bookshelf. Here is the history of the printed word, from the earliest alphabets through the evolution of the printing press. The contributions of the great printers and typographers are here. A new chapter by Robert Bringhurst takes up this history where Chappell put down his pen, covering the most recent developments in the printed word. Over 200 illustrations appear throughout.”
Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning
by Adrian Frutiger (Author), Andrew Bluhm (Translator)
From the publisher: “The material at hand about symbols and signs is complex. Part of it is contained in the third volume of Man and His Signs. It is not a continuous text but one that is connected to the pictures in order to explain them. The symbols correlate. There is a net that is difficult to comprehend in the form of a book. This map with rows of signs and captions arose in order to offer assistance to the constant wanderings of one’s thoughts. But the mind does not follow the lines; it jumps about according to a scheme that is different for every reader.”
Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works [should see]
by Erik Spiekermann, E.M. Ginger
From the publisher: “An entertaining, informative and educational tour through the most basic unit of communication—type. Explains in every-day laymen’s terms what type is, how to select it, and how to use it to improve the reader’s communication. Includes over 200 illustrations and photographs.”
by Steven Heller, Louise Fili
From the publisher: “A chunky, distinctive object of brilliant design in and of itself, Stylepedia is the first handy, cross-referenced desk guide to the kaleidoscope that is modern design. In hundreds of illustrated entries, Heller and Fili, the award-winning authors of Euro Deco and numerous other popular design titles, survey the designers, schools, and movements that comprise the practice today as well as take a fascinating glimpse back at some of the seminal early leaders. From the first Santa Claus to appear on a Coca-Cola bottle to the increasingly ubiquitous camouflage tee shirt, iconic everyday items of yesterday and today provide valuable inspiration to designers and design aficionados. As quirky as it is useful and positively packed with lavish color illustrations, this designer’s design compendium is the only one of its kind.”
A Tally of Types
by Stanley Morison, Brooke Crutchley
From the publisher: “The Tally of Types was first circulated in a privately printed edition in 1953, achieving a fame and influence wholly disproportionate to the comparatively small number of copies in existence. In 1973 Cambridge University Press published a version edited and expanded by Brooke Crutchley and others, making this classic of typographical history and practice available to a wider readership; it is this edition we have reprinted here. Stanley Morison provided the impetus and judgement behind the programme of typographical revival carried through by the Monotype Corporation in the 1920s and early 1930s. The Tally is an account, historical, critical and functional, of the types cut under Morison’s direction during this period. It is an impressive performance: a fine example of what is now recognised as Morison’s characteristic blend of erudition and insight. What started as no more than an attempt to record the facts developed, under his hand, into one of the major statements of typographical practice of its time.”
Texts on Type
by Steven Heller, Philip B. Meggs
From the publisher: “Students and teachers of graphic design will enrich their understanding of 20th century type design and typography with this unique anthology. Contained in this volume are more than 50 important, known and rare texts by critics, historians, and type designers about the history, aesthetics, and practice of type design and typography. An invaluable addition to any school course on type theory and practice, the book contains heretofore unprinted essays by major type masters, including W.A. Dwiggins, Hermann Zapf, and Paul Rand, as well as critical analyses of vintage and contemporary type and type design. A supplement to the successful Looking Closer series, the book specifically pinpoints those texts that will increase the common knowledge of typographic history and criticism.”
The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography
by Ruari McLean
From the publisher: “Typography—the art, or skill, of designing printed matter, especially printed words—has a history stretching back five hundred years. Ever since its invention in the fifteenth century printing has been based on the movable types, and this technology has conditioned the design of everything from pamphlets to newspapers, books and magazines. But in the last quarter of the twentieth century a revolution has taken place. Printers and designers throughout the world have jettisoned the old technology in favor of advanced filmsetting and desk-top systems, which introduce new problems and open up exciting possibilities for typographers. This book tackles the implications for designers of the typesetting revolution. Written with an infectious zest and enthusiasm, it is sure to become the budding typographer’s basic reference book.”
Thinking with Type [must see]
by Ellen Lupton
From the publisher: “Our all time best selling book is now available in a revised and expanded second edition. Thinking with Type is the definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. This revised edition includes forty-eight pages of new content, including the latest information on style sheets for print and the web, the use of ornaments and captions, lining and non-lining numerals, the use of small caps and enlarged capitals, as well as information on captions, font licensing, mixing typefaces, and hand lettering. Throughout the book, visual examples show how to be inventive within systems of typographic form—what the rules are and how to break them. Thinking with Type is a type book for everyone: designers, writers, editors, students, and anyone else who works with words. The popular online companion to Thinking with Type (www.thinkingwithtype.com) has been revised to reflect the new material in the second edition.”
Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering [see also]
by Jan Tschichold
From the publisher: “Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering is a classic source book of the most beautiful type and letters of all time selected by Jan Tschichold, internationally renowned typographer and master of lettering. It contains only letters of timeless and lasting beauty—the true mainsprings of the art of lettering. One hundred and seventy-six type specimens are presented, most of them in complete alphabets.
The introductory text provides a perceptive analysis of letter forms. Tschichold discusses lettering as a work of art, good and bad letters, older and recent letter forms, the use of capital and lower-case letters, word spacing, line spacing, the selection of appropriate letter styles, and the layout of groups of letters and signs.
The type specimens are handsomely reproduced, most in their original size. Every alphabet was specially arranged by Tschichold, and forms a well-balanced graphic design. Many of the outstanding historical sources appear better here than in the often poorly printed originals. The book is identical to the original edition, first published in 1966, with a new introduction by designer and writer Ben Rosen.”
Typography is two-dimensional architecture, based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability.
Type Rules! [see also]
by Ilene Strizver
From the publisher: “Type Rules!, Fourth Edition is an up-to-date, thorough introduction to the principles and practices of typography. From the fundamentals to cutting-edge applications, this edition has everything today’s serious designer needs to use type effectively. Dozens of exercises reinforce authoritative coverage on such topics as how to select the appropriate type for the job, how to set type like a pro, and how to design a typeface, as well as how to fully harness the power of major design packages including the Adobe Creative Suite.”
Typencyclopedia: A User’s Guide to Better Typography
by Frank J. Romano
From the publisher: “The TypEncyclopedia is your desktop quick-reference guide to better typography—the kind of typography that says, “This was produced by someone who knows.”
This visual dictionary of typography gives you practical facts of type and typographic features in an alphabetic arrangement of keyword topics profusely illustrated with more than one hundred diagrams and examples. Detailed nitty-gritty discussions emphasize good versus poor typographic practice, with enriching insights that show why and how our typographic standards came to be. The TypEncyclopedia also includes a cross-listing of current typeface names from various manufacturers, linked to equivalent designs from other manufacturers. A full index of today’s typographic terminology permits fast look-up of definitions and discussions. All of these features make The TypEncyclopedia a primary reference tool no matter how you work with and enjoy the visual images of type.”
Typographers on Type
by Ruari McLean (Editor)
From the publisher: “This anthology of key writing about the typographic arts has been assembled by Ruari McLean, himself a designer and a leading writer on graphic design subjects.
Brought together for the first time in a single volume, the writing is drawn from an international array of books and periodicals, and have been selected for their expression of something “important, interesting and/or amusing about typography.”
These essays provide a view of the development of modern typography and cover a diverse range of subjects, reflecting concerns of the time and timeless considerations: from William Morris’s “Aims in Founding the Kelmscott Press” (1895) to Roderick Stinehour’s “Computers and Printing” (1984). Arranged in chronological order, the essays chart the course of the profound technological advances that have taken place in the printing industry in the 20th century from a unique perspective: that of the typographer witnessing and experiencing these changes.
Each piece is prefaced by a short introduction to the typographer’s life and work, and many are illustrated with examples of the typography.
A fascinating and often amusing collection, Typographers on Type will prove invaluable to those with an interest in the principles and development of typography in the 20th century.”
The Typographic Book, 1450–1935
by Stanley Morison, Kenneth Day
From the publisher: “A study of fine typography through five centuries. Exhibited in upwards of three hundred and fifty title and text pages drawn from presses working in the European tradition. With an introductory essay by Stanley Morison and supplementary material by Kenneth Day.”
The Annual of the Type Directors Club
From the publisher: “Devoted exclusively to typography, this annual features the work of the winners of the annual Type Director’s Club competition. The winners were selected from thousands of entries from around the world, and their designs encompass all areas of graphic design, including books, magazines, corporate identities, logos, stationary, annual reports, video graphics and posters.”
Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History
by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein
From the publisher: “Throughout history, the written word and typography have been integral to the development of human culture. Typography is to the written word what articulation is to the spoken word; neither is conceivable without the other. Now, for the first time, it’s fascinating history has been assembled into one volume.
The ultimate reference for typography aficionados and art lovers alike, Typography is the first ever comprehensive survey of the Western world’s entire alphabetic culture. The chronicles in detail the story of type design, development, fashions, and techniques starting with the present day and going back to the origins of the written word. It describes the development of the tools—from the hand-ax to the computer—and presents over 700 typographers, type designers, calligraphers, and artists, as well as schools, institutions, teachers, and theorists. With over 2000 illustrations in color and black-and-white, this book is the first and only dictionary of the designed word.”
Typography: Formation and TransFormation
by Willi Kunz
From the publisher: “Typographic design begins with a set of information and a concept. The designer, facing a blank sheet of paper or a computer screen, is anxious about the first step to take in developing a design. The elements of typography are an obvious starting point, but often do not get the attention they deserve. A thorough understanding of how letters, words, lines, paragraphs and columns are formed, what makes them unique as design elements, and how they express character and emotion are the most essential tools in the designer’s repertoire. The basic principles of typographic design transform the utilitarian quality of words, lines, paragraphs and columns into an aesthetic form that conveys both the intellectual meaning and emotional feeling of the message.
Through the relationship between the elements and space, and their rhythm and composition, design not only objectively conveys information but also gives subjective cues for the interpretation of its contents. As a visual form of language, typography is perceived as a whole before its individual parts are read. The surface characteristics of the design – the topology – create the first impression and derive from the form, size, position, and color of the typographic elements. Captured in a series of transparent diagrams, they reveal a new design dimension and animate the designer to further develop the original conceptual idea. This process provides the designer with a tool for refining, altering, adjusting, deconstructing and reassembling the individual levels to create a finely detailed, cohesive typographic composition.”
Typographie: A Manual of Design
by Emil Ruder
From the publisher: “This book is the legacy of Emil Ruder, one of the originator of Swiss Style, famous throughout the world for the use of asymmetric layouts, use of a grid, sans-serif typefaces and flush left, ragged right text. His holistic approach is still recognized as fundamental for graphic designers and typographers all over the world. The volume is a comprehensive masterpiece seen in its overall structure: in the themes presented, in the comparison of similarities and contrasts, in the richness of the illustrations and the harmoniously inserted types. Behind the purely pedagogic examples of exact proportions, a rich, philosophical thinking shines through. Today, fifty years after this book was first published, it is still widely used and referenced.”
TYPOLOGIA. Studies in Type Design & Type Making with Comments on the Invention of Typography
by Frederic W. Goudy
From the Preface: “TYPOLOGIA presents more or less graphically my work in type design and describes my own methods of type production. Of course it does more than that; for who, once having begun a book, can resist its own invitations—to quote, to comment, to ponder and amplify? My intention, then, must be not only to say my own say, but also to bring together from widely separated sources the suggestions or statements of others, and to weave them, with the conclusions reached by my own study and experience, into a new fabric.” Frederic W. Goudy
What are The Typophiles Chap Books?
The Typophiles is a widely known organization of designers, publishers, graphic arts executives, and book collectors founded in New York City in 1932.
Beginning in 1935, the group began publishing chap books. Here is how that development is described by the New York Public Library Archives & Manuscripts Division, in its comprehensive article and history of Typophiles, Inc.:
“Besides their monthly luncheons the Typophiles developed a reputation for publishing original and interesting materials on subjects germane to the printing arts. This began in 1935 with the impromptu creation of a Festschrift, of sorts, to honor the 70th birthday of famed designer, Frederick W. Goudy. Any member who wished to could create and contribute an insert of a predetermined size to be bound and presented to Goudy as a gift at a party in his honor. A total of seven such projects were produced between 1935 and 1938.
In 1940 Bennett formally announced plans for a yearly subscription series of chap books, as they were to be called, reviving an old printer’s term. Each chap book would be developed and carried out by small groups of the members, each contributing his time or materials to the project. The books would be similar in size (4.5×7) and format, printed by one firm, on any topic of interest related to the printing arts. A subscription fee would be charged for each year; the first year’s charge was $1. The series now extends to nearly 100 chap books with a regular subscription list which includes many colleges, universities, and public and private libraries across the U.S. and abroad.”
A comprehensive article about and history of Typophiles, Inc. from the New York Public Library Archives & Manuscripts Division—a must-read for any type enthusiast…
Designing a Book, The Typophile Chap Books bibliography
by Abe Lerner
Typophile Chap Book #2: Harsh words
by Thomas Maitland Cleland
From the publisher: “An address delivered at a meeting of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York City, February 5, 1910.”
Typophile Chap Book: The Kelmscott Press, 1891 to 1898
by William Morris
From the book: “A note by William Morris on his aims in founding the Kelmscott Press. A short history and description of the Kelmscott Press by S.C. Cockerell.”
Typophile Chap Book: Theodore Low De Vinne
by Carl Purington Rollins
From the publisher: “Together with a list of De Vinne’s writings, his reflections on the century typeface and an interview with Mr. De Vinne at seventy-five.”
Typophile Chap Book: MSS by WAD
by W. A. Dwiggins
From the publisher: “A collection of the writings of Dwiggins on various subjects some critical, some philosophical, some whimsical.”
Typophile Chap Book: The Type Designs Made for Private and Commercial Use, 1896 to 1943
by Frederic W. Goudy
Typophile Chap Book: Ands & Ampersands, from the first century B.C. to the twentieth A.D
by Frederic W Goudy
Typophile Chap Book: B.L.W. to the Typophiles
by Beatrice Warde
Typophile Chap Book: B. Franklin, 1706—1790
by Benjamin Franklin
From the publisher: “A keepsake published in connection with the celebration of Printing Week commemorating the 250th birthday of Franklin.”
Typophile Chap Book #36: Postscripts on Dwiggins, Volume 1 & 2
by Paul A. Bennett (editor)
From the publisher: “Essays and recollections by Dorothy Abbe, Paul A. Bennett, Mable H. Dwiggins, Margaret B. Evans, Watson M. Gordon, John Goss, Philip Hofer, Paul Hollister, Alfred A. Knopf, Chester C. Lane, Helen Macy, Carl Purlington Rollins, Rudolph Ruzicka, George Slater. Edited by Paul A. Bennett with a selective check list compiled by Dorothy Abbe and Rollo G. Silver.”
Typophile Chap Book: William Caxton and His Quincentenary
by John Dreyfus
From the publisher: “Based on a lecture delivered in November 1975 at the Grolier Club as part of the series, Heritage of the graphic arts evaluating of the importance of William Caxton as a printer, publisher and a man of letters. Designed by Abe Lerner and printed in the year of Caxton’s quincentenary.”
From all these experiences the most important thing I have learned is that legibility and beauty stand close together and that type design, in its restraint, should be only felt but not perceived by the reader.
U&lc: Influencing Design & Typography by John D. Berry
by John D. Berry
From the publisher: “U&lc magazine (Upper & lower case) was a defining voice in international graphic design between 1973 and 1999. It was in some ways a lifestyle magazine for the design community—providing a fascinating intersection of popular culture and graphic design in the last quarter of the 20th century.
The list of editorial contributors to U&lc is long, beginning with founding designer/editor Herb Lubalin; many prominent designers worked on designing entire issues. Their finest work is showcased in this book, in reproductions of selected covers, stories, and illustrations from the nearly 100 quarterly issues that were published. The book leads off with a number of articles about the phenomenon that was U&lc, written by writers, editors, and designers who were closely involved over the years.”
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [must see]
by Edward Rolf Tufte
From the publisher: “The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.”
While You’re Reading
by Gerard Unger
From the publisher: “This book is about everything that happens while you’re reading—in front of your eyes and inside your head—and about what type designers, typographers and graphic designers bring to a page to make it happen.
Renowned type designer Gerard Unger distills decades of design experience into a playful, accessible text that reflects the range of his professional projects, from designing the fonts read daily by millions in USA Today to being responsible for the look of the highway and metro signs in the Netherlands.
For Unger, regardless of the application, designers should always consider two important questions: How is it possible to read without seeing any letters? To what extent do all readers possess hidden typographic knowledge? Keeping these two core ideas in mind, Unger explores such topics as legibility, invisible typography, pattern recognition, the reading process, the ergonomics of letterforms, the universe of signs, negative space and typographic illusions.
The most seasoned typographers and designers will find as much value in this fresh, first-ever English translation as beginners and the curious who have always wondered how reading happens.”
Weingart: Typography, My way to Typography [see also]
by Wolfgang Weingart
From the publisher: “Since the 1970s Wolfgang Weingart has exerted a decisive influence on the international development of typography. He instilled creativity and a desire for experimentation into the ossified Swiss typographical industry and reflected this renewal in his own work. Countless designers have been inspired by his teaching at the Basle School of Design and by his lectures. In Typography Weingart gives an unusual and frank narrative of his early life and development as a designer. For the first time this publication gives a comprehensive survey of his works over the past forty years, most of which are unknown.”
The Work of Jan Van Krimpen, An Illustrated Record
by John Dreyfus
From the publisher: “Consideration of his type designs, typographical style and lettering and calligraphy. Illustrated by reproductions of drawings, specimens of types, lettering, and bookwork.”
The Artistic Crafts Series of Technical Handbooks: Writing & Illuminating & Lettering [should see]
by Edward Johnston
From the publisher: “One of the founders of modern calligraphy, Edward Johnston regarded lettering, writing, and illuminating as not only desirable ends in themselves but also as practical avenues to mastery of typography, decoration, and design. In this classic, profusely illustrated guide, he distilled his expertise into a series of easy-to-follow lessons that will benefit any student of calligraphy, book design, or art.
Part I is devoted to writing and illuminating. Early chapters cover the fundamentals of acquiring a formal hand: choosing paper, ink, and quills; holding the pen; spacing and planning a manuscript; and more. The author then turns to the techniques of producing a manuscript book: tools and materials, methods and proportions, margins, and other methods.
Part II offers a detailed discussion of lettering: the qualities of good lettering, methods of construction and arrangement, spacing, proportion, and other matters. Two appendixes cover the uses of lettering in book bindings, wall inscriptions, monograms, and title pages as well as the techniques involved in lettering on metal, wood, and stone.”
Know of a type-related book you think belongs on the list? Add your recommendation in the comments section below and we’ll add those that seem to gain a consensus. Thank you. —Chuck