27.01.15 — Design

Some Typography Reading

To kick off my new module option, Principles of Typography, I thought I’d make a quick overview of some reading I’m currently working my way through which has sparked and advanced an interest in typography thus far. For anyone who is interested in type, this may provide some useful recommendations for some reading to get you started!

1 The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Binghurst

I treat this as my typographic Bible, which means that it’s not really ideal for people with a passive interest, however it does deal with nearly every single possible detail and area within typography. Making a lot of recommendations throughout, but also leaving much down to a reader’s personal preference, Bringhurst strikes the delicate balance of advice giving without being too forceful.

2 Just My Type by Simon Garfield

A lovely light-hearted look at typography and fonts, great for a bit of light reading and humour or some basic background history on specific typefaces for those interested.

3 Die Neue Typographie by Jan Tschichold

Quite an interesting document outlining the early thoughts and ideology of the revolutionary German typographer. Leans heavily towards ideological indoctrination with it’s advice and ideas, so should be approached with a neutral passive stance (Tschichold himself later condemned it as too extreme), however it does provide a very interesting insight into some of Tschichold’s earlier ideas.

4 An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill

Another interesting essay which I have (admittedly) not finished reading yet, but which came in a really nifty small Penguin edition so I just had to buy it.

5 Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller & Lita Talari

A stunning book to flick through and engage with how others progress through the type design process. Not very text-heavy or informative in a tradition sense, but a lovely addition to my bookshelf nonetheless!

6 The Hand Job by Michael Perry

Another catalogue of hand drawn type which spans an array of designers and styles, a great source of inspiration for any design project, with its array of styles, colours and ideas. To be enjoyed as another piece of visual indulgence.

There are countless many more books out there on type, many of which feature in the module’s reading lists, but here’s a few that I already own and my quick thoughts on them. At the moment I have my sights set on acquiring Jason Santa Maria’s “On Web Typography“, as this intersection of typography and digital design is somewhere I am very interested in exploring.