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Nicodemus

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Seeking Book Recommendations [Dec. 15th, 2006|02:04 pm]
Nicodemus
I'd like to find a book about typeface design. Ideally, it would talk about the elements of letterforms, why they are constructed in different ways, and what effect this has on the overall font.

What I'm not especially interested in is typography (which, confusingly, sounds like it should be typeface study -- it's actually about composition using movable type). There seem to be dozens of books on graphic and layout design but very few that focus in on deconstructing typeface glyphs. Surely there's a textbook on it somewhere?

This book, 'Type Specific' by Charlotte Rivers, seems the best candidate so far. Has anyone read it? Can anyone offer better suggestions?

C'mon... I know I've got font geeks on my friends list. Help!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wordweaverlynn
2006-12-15 10:27 pm (UTC)
The first book I'd read is Walter Tracy's classic Letters of Credit. Covers font design right up through the digital revolution.

You might also look at The Complete Manual of Typography, which has a lot of information on the design of typefaces.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-12-17 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! "Letters of Credit" sounds like a great reference, along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'll pick up a copy of it.
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[User Picture]From: tilton
2006-12-16 07:40 am (UTC)
Tilton to the Rescue!

I've got these two books. First, Anatomy of a Typeface, by Alexander S. Lawson. This is probably dead-on what you're looking for. The second is A “Short History of the Printed Word”, which may not be exactly what you're looking for because it focuses more on the general history of printing, but it's still worth looking at.

The ultimate end-all be-all of typeface design is the classic "Manuale Tipografico" by Giambattista Bodoni. I don't know if it's available in print, but Octavo has a cool cd-rom edition.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-12-17 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I looked at "Anatomy of a Typeface" on Amazon, but the reader comments weren't overly helpful on evaluating it. I'll pick it up based on your recommendation, though. Most excellent.
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2006-12-16 10:22 am (UTC)
Aww, are you telling me my typography icon is inaccurate?
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-12-17 07:48 pm (UTC)
Not necessarily... Typography's about the use of type in composition, which is what your icon shows.
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2006-12-16 06:50 pm (UTC)
I could point a friend to this entry, but it's mysteriously lockificated.. ?
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-12-17 07:46 pm (UTC)
Out of habit, I often f-lock posts where I'm asking for recommendations. Unlocked it now, though.
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