Typography: A Manual of Design by Emil Ruder (1967)
Typography: A Manual of Design
by Emil Ruder (1967)

Typography is the art of arranging type and that includes the selection of typefaces, the point size and the leading. A typographer is someone who designs typefaces. Claude Garamond, John Baskerville, Eric Gill, Giambattista Bodoni, Christophe Plantin, Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf might sound like a random selection of names but these men are legends of typography and gave their names to typefaces that you probably encounter daily. Their influence in the design, publishing and printing industries has been vast and it continues into the digital age.

There is an entire industry devoted to the design of type. Another legend of typography called Stanley Morison invented Times New Roman for the Times of London after the newspaper had been criticized for its poor printing quality. Vincent Connare, a one-time font designer at Microsoft, created Comic Sans and Trebuchet MS. A Swiss designer called Max Miedinger invented Helvetica in 1957. An American called Herb Lubalin designed ITC Avant Garde. There are families of fonts such as the serifs (eg Times New Roman and Baskerville) and the sans-serifs (eg Helvetica).

We are exposed to type whenever we read and we are reading constantly – books, magazines and newspapers, the Internet, our computers, labels on products in the supermarket, advertising billboards, roadside signs, and the list goes on and on.

If you love type, typography and typographers then you are almost certainly a typophile. A typophile will study typefaces and have strong opinions about particular fonts and how they are implemented. For instance, there is a legion of designers who campaign against the use of Comic Sans. For a typophile, a font conveys a feeling or a message beyond the words it is forming. This is not really a matter of reading between the lines or even the words themselves but a matter of reading the font. There is even a New York-based not-for-profit association called the Typophiles that encourages the appreciation and production of fine typography and bookmaking.

And by the way, you are reading this feature in verdana – a font designed by Mathew Carter for Microsoft to be readable at small sizes on computers.

Typography Books

An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill (1931)
An Essay on Typography
by Eric Gill (1931)
The Letter Forms and Type Designs of Eric Gill edited by Robert Harling (1976)
The Letter Forms and Type Designs of Eric Gill
edited by Robert Harling (1976)
Pioneers of Modern Typography by Herbert Spencer (1969)
Pioneers of Modern Typography
by Herbert Spencer (1969)
How Typography Happens by Ruari McLean (1999)
How Typography Happens
by Ruari McLean (1999)
Introduction to Typography by Simon Oliver (1945)
Introduction to Typography
by Simon Oliver (1945)
Type and Typography edited by John & Rose Randle (2003)
Type and Typography
edited by John & Rose Randle (2003)
Art of the Printed Book by Joseph Blumenthal (1973)
Art of the Printed Book
by Joseph Blumenthal (1973)
A History of Old English Letter Foundries by Talbot Baines Reed (1887)
A History of Old English Letter Foundries
by Talbot Baines Reed (1887)
Advertising Layout and Typography by Eugene De Lopatecki (1935)
Advertising Layout and Typography
by Eugene De Lopatecki (1935)
Fine Print on Type by Charles Bigelow et al (1988)
Fine Print on Type
by Charles Bigelow et al (1988)
Anatomy of a Typeface by Alexander S Lawson (1990)
Anatomy of a Typeface
by Alexander S Lawson (1990)
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield (2010)
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
by Simon Garfield (2010)
ABC of 20th Century Graphics by Sergio Polano & Pierpaolo Vetta (2002)
ABC of 20th Century Graphics
by Sergio Polano & Pierpaolo Vetta (2002)
Book of Lettering by Reynolds Stone (1935)
Book of Lettering
by Reynolds Stone (1935)
A Tally of Types by Stanley Morison (1953)
A Tally of Types
by Stanley Morison (1953)
The Typographic Book by Stanley Morison & Kenneth Day (1963)
The Typographic Book
by Stanley Morison & Kenneth Day (1963)
The History and Technique of Lettering by Alexander Nesbitt (1950)
The History and Technique of Lettering
by Alexander Nesbitt (1950)
Lettering & Type by Willen Bruce
Lettering & Type
by Willen Bruce (2009)
Hermann Zapf and his Design Philosophy by Hermann Zapf (1987)
Type
by Cees de Jong (2010)
New Vintage Type by Steven Heller
New Vintage Type
by Steven Heller (2007)

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