Whether you're enraged by Ikea's Verdanagate, want to know what the Beach Boys have in common with easy Jet or why it's okay to like Comic Sans, Just My. Just My Type investigates a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seemingly ubiquitous use of Trajan on. Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. Simon Garfield is the author of twelve acclaimed books of non-fiction including Mauve, The Error World and The Nation's.
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Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About how Helvetica About the great originators of type, from Bas. £ eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?. Read "Just My Type A Book About Fonts" by Simon Garfield available from Rakuten Kobo. Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About how. Just My Type book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. What's your type? Suddenly everyone's obsessed with fonts. Whether.
No, not me. That would be too low. But some might. Gill Sans, for example was created by, no shock, Eric Gill. Mister Sans is unaccounted for Matthew Carter, the founder of Bitstream, designed Verdana among many others.
John Baskerville designed the font that was named for him, but there was no mention of his dog. There really is a guy named Bodoni out there, first name, Giambattista. And on it goes. But if you find the one you are reading beginning to induce yawns, hang on for a few pages. There will be another that might catch your interest. There is attention given to the development of fonts in various countries, most notably Switzerland, Germany, France and England.
Perhaps the most delicious name in the book belongs to a printer from the s. Wynkun de Worde, the first Fleet Street printer, used an expanding range of typefaces, a big innovation at the time. Brothers Blynkun and Nodde de Worde did not get any ink here. And no, it was not leaked by a twenty-something intelligence worker. Some readers, we are told, tried to book holidays there There is much information of other sorts as well in Just My Type. Garfield looks at research that says that our brains demand evenness in a font.
He looks at the gold rush of printing that followed Gutenberg, at whether a font can be German or Jewish, and at tools for helping identify individual fonts, both books and software. And he offers some intel on how this or that locality selected the font to be used across their cities, for things like airport or street signage. When a story is this good its truth is quite beside the point. The problem you will have with reading this book — which you should do, by the way — is that you will start noticing fonts everywhere.
As someone who gets put out of supermarkets when they start playing crap from the 70s - I have to say I have real sympathy with the people discussed in this book who are just as annoyed by misplaced fonts. This stuff is utterly and endlessly fascinating to me. I worry that knowing a little about this stuff will make me more boring than I already am and make me think I know more than I really do. So much of this stuff is about having a good eye - and I'm very much unsure that I have such an eye.
But the way fonts and colours affect our understanding of texts is something in the realm of 'the truth that likes to hide in plain sight'. Like the ampersand. You know, this thing.
But I didn't know that the ampersand is often the most beautiful character in a font. Which then brings us to the question, what is a character? This is actually really interesting. Obviously all the letters are — in both upper and lower case — but what about, say, or? And how to do you say? Or is it the ampersat? Then there is also handgloves or Hamburgefonts. To see if a font will work there are a number of letters you need to really see - h, g, a and s being among those.
Typing handgloves and seeing how the letters look together at various point sizes being as good a way of doing this as any. Did you know that a company set up to combat piracy picked a pirated font for their corporate identity? I kid you not… There is a lovely distinction made in this book between legibility and readability.
This was a lovely book. I think it would have been better as a book - rather than an audio book. I assume the printed version has lots of examples of the typefaces and so I might track it down eventually to see and download — it is just the sort of book that would be a good kind of reference. Years ago I read an article by Stephen J did you know J was the last letter added to the alphabet?
It is a very long time since I read this article, couldn't tell you which of his books of essays it was from, but I think I remember Gould was a bit obsessed with getting a pangram that had fewer repeat letters than the fox one there are four Os — for instance. Still — have a look at this example of life imitating pangram: From Peter Carey's Theft: However, it has been conclusively demonstrated that this face is actually the work of Nicholas Kis , a Hungarian, who most probably learned his trade from the master Dutch type founder Dirk Voskens.
The type is an excellent example of the influential and sturdy Dutch types that prevailed in England up to the time William Caslon developed his own incomparable designs from them.
View all 12 comments. Feb 10, Annie rated it it was amazing. I never knew I needed to read a book on fonts, until I read this book on fonts.
Everywhere you go, everything you do- fonts, fonts, fonts. This one, that one, every font. I loved learning the history of fonts in general, and of specific fonts. There are also some incredibly cool names in the history of fonts.
The name Wynkyn de Worde, for example. I also like the surname of the da Spira brothers.
So elegant. And clarity, for us bookworms, is certainly commendable. The majority of books printed in Germany before WW2 were in blackletter that heavy, gothic font you typically see on signs for German-style biergartens or Ye Old Towne Pub-type places and were considered a sign of German nationalism. For a while, Hitler heavily encouraged everyone to use only blackletter fonts, and Nazis used them exclusively. A font called Gotham is the trendy new font of the s. It has a distinctly safari vibe or at least, pop culture has imbued it with that.
But, after all, you are reading a review for a book about fonts, so you might be interested. It was also the font on the plaque left on the moon by Apollo How can you not love this font? I abhor these: Why is this a default font? Get it out of my face. View all 4 comments. Each chapter was the story of a font, or of specific uses of different fonts, and told the stories of Gill Sans, Futura, Optima and Helvetica just to name a few.
There were some interesting anecdotes, little snippets of history, and some technical information, all told in a relaxed and easy to read way. There were many images of both the faces in use and the typographers at work, and the main bulk of the book itself is set in Sabon and Univers 45 Light.
Within the publishing details at the beginning of the book, the author explains the typefaces used which I think is lovely. When a chapter is on a specific typeface, the first paragraph is set in that face which I think is a really nice touch, and throughout the book every face that is mentioned has an example, either in the form of text set in the face or an image, so you do not need to rush off to your computer very 5 seconds to see what the author is talking about!
The stories were short and sweet, and I would highly recommend this to anyone who has the slightest interest in typography, even if you have no real prior knowledge. Dec 17, Trike rated it it was amazing Shelves: Although it kind of goes astray at the end, the vast majority of this overview of fonts, typefaces, and typography is immensely entertaining and informative.
In that regard, this book is living up to the ideal designer Adrian Frutiger espouses in the chapter about his work: Each time Garfield references a font, the first paragraph of that chapter is printed in that style, with a little notation off to the side. Which is an obvious idea that no one does.
Back in the s publishers were constantly monkeying with their typefaces and I would become so distracted by the letters that it would bring my reading to a screeching halt.
The lowercase g and the question mark in particular tended to extremely bizarre shapes. I kept wondering who would design such atrocities. It was the opposite of a comfortable spoon. Unsurprisingly, I own almost no books from that era.
There are also numerous illustrations, ranging from purely factual to very amusing. He even includes the classic poster that John Lennon referenced on Sgt. One evening I ended up watching at least a half-dozen TED talks on the subject.
Fortunately I had already seen the superb documentary Helvetica , which I highly recommend. I was at the post office over the weekend and it felt like I was inside a box comprised entirely of Helvetica. This is a breezy, fun read that is also jam-packed with information, history and design theory.
View all 5 comments. Sep 02, Viola rated it it was ok. In this day and age, we easily have the choice of at least fifty fonts in a drop down menu all at a click of a button.
Whether we are writing a paper, a wedding invitation, or creating a presentation, the fonts we choose are important and impactful. It was in the realm of professionals. Simon Garfield offers us a glimpse into th In this day and age, we easily have the choice of at least fifty fonts in a drop down menu all at a click of a button. Simon Garfield offers us a glimpse into the world of fonts.
In a seemingly unorganized book, the author gives us quick vignettes of the history of various fonts and their creators.
He jumps from one font to the next and from one technology to the next without giving us much depth. Although the snippets of history that he does offer are interesting, it was not enough to sustain my interest throughout an entire book. But then, he drones on and on, jumping from one random font to another with no unifying theme or depth or analysis.
At the end of the party, it feels like mostly a waste of time. Not completely, just mostly. There are so many ways to unify a book on fonts. The book could be organized chronologically. It could focus on the design aspect. It could focus on the technology. It could focus on the impact of branding, ad campaigns, and society as a whole. But this book does none of that. Instead, it skims the surface on most aspects with a little more attention devoted to the personal history of font creators.
And it seemed to have mostly skipped over typewriters in general. After I closed the book, I was left wondering why do typewriters often have that Courier-looking font? Was that ugly font ever perceived as being easy to read during its heyday?
I really wanted to like this book. Fonts are fun. View 1 comment. Jun 23, Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves: I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. This made for an enjoyable and easy read.
As someone coming to this book with precious little knowledge on the subject beyond a passing familiarity with some of the more widely-used fonts out there, Note: As someone coming to this book with precious little knowledge on the subject beyond a passing familiarity with some of the more widely-used fonts out there, I found it contained just the right amount of technical detail to satisfy the curiosity of a non-expert, served up with plenty of anecdotal information and examples that made it very readable and accessible.
I enjoyed learning about the people, stories and original purpose behind various typefaces, and how they came to be. I liked the way that in most cases, the book gave an example of the typeface being discussed, especially the chapters devoted to a specific typeface, which use the entire first paragraph as an example, giving the reader a better feel for what the author's saying. The copy I received was an uncorrected proof, though, so this may be addressed at a later stage.
This is the kind of book you can easily dip in and out of, although I read it straight through over the course of a few days. View all 3 comments. Jun 27, Katy rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Read and reviewed in May , just updated my review to my current ordering system. Book Information: Nonfiction, typography Recommended for: People interested in the typography that surrounds us.
My Thoughts: I find fonts fascinating; I love to use unusual fonts in personal correspondence although I prefer Times New Roman for other uses , and I love to learn about fonts and typesetting, which leads me to read the little bit at the end of many books that tells about the font being used in Read and reviewed in May , just updated my review to my current ordering system.
I find fonts fascinating; I love to use unusual fonts in personal correspondence although I prefer Times New Roman for other uses , and I love to learn about fonts and typesetting, which leads me to read the little bit at the end of many books that tells about the font being used in it.
Therefore, I was very interested in reading Just My Type. However, I quickly found that the e-ARC was a mess and completely unreadable. I had wanted the book anyway, so I bought it and read the physical copy. Lesson one learned: One thing I would have loved to have seen was a section that showed the various fonts side-by-side — sure, there were words and letters in the different fonts here and there — even entire chapters written in a different font while its history was told — but not a section dedicated to showing as many of the fonts as possible side-by-side.
Garfield makes a discussion of fonts and typography amusing, filled with anecdotes and quirkiness. I especially got a kick out of Chapter Breaking the Rules — mostly because the use of multiple fonts within a single page sometimes as often as every paragraph is something I have often done while writing letters to friends. For those who are interested in typography, fonts or the history of writing, this is a must-read.
However, it was completely unreadable, so I just bought a hardcover copy for myself. Synopsis from NetGalley: Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product that we download. But where do they come from, and why do we need so many? Going from the general responses of Goodreads readers, I feel that simply referring readers of my review to those comments as more than adequately covering the matter.
For those not aware of what fonts are, and how they are present everywhere in our consumer world, then this book is a must — and I might even suggest a 5 star rating for them. This is undoubtedly a fun book to read, and Garfield seems to be having a bit of a romp through all the many manifestations and implications. The work is full of many bits of historical information, examples of many fonts, and informative and even amusing anecdotes relating to the development of fonts over the centuries, all communicated with a certain verve and vivacity that is a pleasure for the reader.
My own particular interest in the use of fonts for manipulative purposes is perhaps my contribution to this. The palette is quite crowded, but more in a stimulating way than just overwhelming. I was particularly intrigued to read about the use of fonts being politically dangerous! It happened during the time of the rise of the Nazis who else?! Font designer Paul Renner who designed the sans serif Futura font in renounced gothic text and wanted to move towards more modernist roman types.
This sympathy resulted in his arrest by the Nazis in , who believed that only traditional gothic text could fully express the purity of the German nation. Ironically, everything changed in January, Feb 25, Alan rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone who's ever yearned to kern Hard to believe, perhaps, but this book about fonts, typefaces, the shapes of the letters that make up the text we read every day, is lively and entertaining in a way that defies its only apparently trivial topic.
From the reviled Comic Sans, to the historic impacts of powerhouse fonts like Times New Roman and Helvetica, to less common faces like one of my personal favorites, Zapf Optima , Simon Garfield shares his enthusiasm for type in a series of clear, erudite, and wide-ranging essays. You Hard to believe, perhaps, but this book about fonts, typefaces, the shapes of the letters that make up the text we read every day, is lively and entertaining in a way that defies its only apparently trivial topic.
You don't have to know a lot about fonts to start this book; most likely, you'll know a lot more about them when you finish. Each chapter is short and the specific "Fontbreak" sections even shorter , which makes for a fast-moving and accessible experience.
And in contexts ranging from the importance of legible highway signage to the effect the right font can have on someone's election chances, Garfield relates the mundane details of typography to the most pressing of real-life issues. As one would expect, the book itself, as a designed artifact, has also been beautifully constructed. It has a pleasant heft and size, a good mix of text and illustrative images, and of course the font chosen for the main body of the book is a clean, readable, yet relatively uncommon one called Sabon, about which Garfield says, "It is not the most beautiful type in the world, nor the most original or arresting.
It is, however, considered one of the most readable of all book fonts, and it is one of the most historically significant. First, of course, one should probably think twice about scribbling in a library book at all Garfield expresses some fairly strong opinions about fonts, though I honestly found none I disagreed with.
I don't know how a professional would react to this book—I am no great shakes as a graphic designer, myself—but as an interested amateur, I found it fascinating. I wish Garfield spent more time here so that he could use the more precise language to describe many of the fonts that he discusses.
Did a good job of using the fonts themselves in the text though from a few bugs in the ARC it looked like maybe they were pasted textboxes on top of the text? It would've been cool to show the full alphabet of each font that gets discussed though maybe that'd've gotten expensive? Wished he dove into kerning a bit more Makes me curious how you fully specify a font: The little vignettes on specific typefaces were pretty cool, though they kind of appeared randomly between some chapters, not sure the reasoning.
I guess they might've gotten burdensome if they all came at once. One other criticism: I guess it's a place where font choice is very noticeable, but I kind of preferred the discussion of use of fonts for books, periodicals, online. Overall though learned a fair amount Tidbit that I hope will stick with me: I accused him of not having any balls.
And steroid use, just because he owns a gym. As I said, banter, especially via e-mail or text is my 1 favorite thing in a book, and Just My Type had some of the funniest email exchanges I have ever read.
He opened a gym for other wounded war veterans. He likes kids. It turned him on when you threw up your baggage all over him. Am I forgetting anything?