Book Reviews

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield

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List Price: £8.99


Paperback: 352 Pages.

Published: 22 September 2011 by Profile Books

Edition: Main

ISBN: 1846683025

EAN: 9781846683022

Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers ... and typefaces became something we realised we all have an opinion about.


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Strangely gripping

This is one of those books that you had no idea when you first set eyes on it how compulsive it is. I really didn't know and understand that I had much interest in type faces/fonts at all until I found myself devouring this book (although I was delighted that I knew what kerning is) - I am absolutely amazed that there is so much to know - I am definitely not looking at anything in the same way as I did before I read this book.

The author starts at the beginning of printing and shows the evolution of different fonts and the reasoning behind some of the changes. Inserted in the narrative are little snippets of interesting information about one particular font - its history and use. I really had no idea how many fonts there are and nor did I understand that in most cases they are the property of the creator. The book looks at ease of reading, where the dot should go over the i, what an ampersand should look like and why people hate Comic Sans - amongst other things.

I read a paper back version of this book and where the author talked about a font that section was written in it or examples were shown to demonstrate what he was saying. I don't know whether or not this feature is sustained on an e-reader or a tablet - much would be lost from the book if it isn't so I advise checking a sample first if you choose to read the book electronically.

An absolutely gripping book, well written, easy to follow and fascinating. Highly recommended for those who like their non-fiction a bit quirky.

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