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Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon…
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Just My Type: A Book About Fonts (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Simon Garfield

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1,265856,244 (3.85)74
Member:Flaubie
Title:Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
Authors:Simon Garfield
Info:Gotham (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield (2010)

  1. 00
    While You're Reading by Gerard Unger (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Garfield's book gives useful information and a good overview; Unger, a designer of type, gives food for thought.
  2. 00
    Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton (Oct326)
  3. 00
    The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst (Oct326)
    Oct326: Il saggio di Simon Garfield è una chiacchierata leggera, leggibile, con un pizzico di umorismo, ma superficiale e poco consistente. Chi è interessato all'argomento dovrebbe leggere qualcosa di più sostanzioso. Ad esempio il manuale di Bringhurst: è un po' specialistico, ma non puramente tecnico; è profondo e meditato.… (more)
  4. 00
    Introduction to typography by Oliver Simon (librorumamans)
  5. 00
    Design with Type by Carl Dair (librorumamans, librorumamans)
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» See also 74 mentions

English (78)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
A book by someone who loves his subject. You'll never look at text quite the same way ever again. ( )
  nandadevi | Jul 23, 2015 |
This is the most interesting book I have read about type. Fonts are all around us and I often find myself looking at a particular font or a set of fonts in close proximity, like those used on three or four adjoining shops, and wondering led to those choices. I wish I had Garfield's ability to recognize fonts by name. I have marked this book for a second reading when I get the time. ( )
  Tatoosh | Apr 9, 2015 |
This is an excellent introduction to typography for the uninitiated. If you want to get an overview of the history of typography and grasp just what an impact choosing a font has on a message without delving too deep into subject, this is the book to read.

Humourous, concise and entertaining, "Just my type" is consistently to the point. I have to admit that at certain points I found it hard to put the book down. Perhaps it's just the inner geek in me who is interested in relatively obscure things, but I found this history of typography utterly fascinating. Every other chapter focuses on a particular font which the author has deemed significant in some way - this gives an insight into how fonts are born, adopted and how they influence what is yet to come.

As is expected of a book on typography, all the mentioned fonts are set in the corresponding type, giving the reader a "live" instant impression of the font.

Although "Just my type" offers no complete recipes for choosing the right font for a particular situation, it makes for a solid starting point for understanding what constitutes great typography. ( )
1 vote ilokhov | Apr 7, 2015 |
I feel like a huge nerd for liking this book as much as I did, but hey, I probably wouldn't be doing this blog if I wasn't one already. Basically, this book breaks down rather nicely the history of some of our most popular fonts and where they come from. Garfield does a great job of making this really interesting, even for those who aren't exactly typeface nerds, which are admittedly a very small group of people. This book was required reading for my Book Design class, and while I am interesting in typefaces and fonts, I wasn't particularly excited about reading a whole book about them. However, this changed when I actually caught myself laughing in the first chapter.

It was fascinating the learn about the history of these fonts that we use in everyday life but never really think about. Who actually wonders about the history of Times New Roman before they start using it for their term paper? Not very many. Now that I know some of these histories and the work and creativity that goes into making these typefaces, I have a much higher appreciation for them.

I also enjoyed the layout of the book itself. He has chapters on a certain subject in typefaces and then at the end of the chapter, gives us a brief history of a more famous typeface that most everyone has heard of in their lifetime, such as Futura and Helvetica. There is also an entire chapter on Comic sans that makes me giggle.

Before this book, I never really thought that typefaces alone could send a message to their readers, and how some typefaces have become so prominent with businesses that it makes people in the know roll their eyes when they see it. How unoriginal to use Helvetica, but damn is it pretty! After reading this book, I now look at type on signs and brochures and wonder which typeface they used and why. What does this typeface say about this company? It's astounding how much time, effort, and money goes into finding just the right typeface, and how important that is for branding since picking the wrong typeface can actually turn people away from a business. No joke! He also makes fun of the 2012 London Olympics font which I found horrendous even before I read this book. That font and logo was just a hot mess.

In the end, if you want to read a book that gives you a highly informative but also engaging look into the world of type, this is the book for you. It is easy to understand, and while he sometimes uses typeface jargon, he makes sure to explain these phrases which was extremely helpful when he would talk about kerning, ascenders, descenders. A great read that has the changed the way I view type and fonts. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Designing a typeface is a tricky project, as Simon Garfield demonstrates in his informative, engaging book Just My Type. A typeface should, of course, be beautiful. It should be both readable and legible (Garfield shows readers the difference using the Cooper Black font on the cover of the classic Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds as an example). And above all, it should be "banal". Huh? It's a paradox, but as Adrian Frutiger, creator of the "perfect" (in Garfield's estimation) typeface that bears his last name, has said, "If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape...When it is a good design, the reader has to feel comfortable because the letter is both banal and beautiful." (p. 140).

Garfield takes readers through the 560 history of movable type, beginning with Gutenberg's first Bible and ending with Calibri, the ubiquitous font that has served as Microsoft's default since 2007. Along the way, he highlights particular typefaces, interviews designers, and discusses typographic trends.. It's an entertaining journey, and one that's highly recommended for those who are fascinated by fonts. ( )
1 vote akblanchard | Aug 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simon Garfieldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, JamesDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zuppet, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In Budapest, surgeons operated on printer's apprentice Gyoergyi Szabo, 17, who, brooding over the loss of a sweetheart, had set her name in type and swallowed the type.
Time magazine, 28 December 1936
Dedication
To Ben and Jake
First words
On 12th June 2005, a fifty-year-old man stood up in front of a crowd of students at Stanford University and spoke of his campus days at a lesser institution, Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
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'Legibility, in practice, amounts simply to what one is accustomed to' Eric Gill
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Book description
Just My Type is a book of stories about fonts. It examines how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. It explains why we are still influenced by type choices made more than 500 years ago, and why the T in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters. It profiles the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, as well as people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook. The book is about that pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers, and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about. And beyond all this, the book reveals what may be the very best and worst fonts in the world – and what your choice of font says about you.
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A romp through the history of fonts and the lives of the great typographers, revealing the extent to which fonts are not only shaped by but also define the world in which we live.

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