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Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: Just My Type by Simon Garfield

Publisher: Gotham
ISBN: 1592406521
Pages:356 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)?

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the "T" in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. A must-have book for the design conscious, Just My Type's cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Schott's Original Miscellany.

My Review:     

I have been looking forward to this book from the moment I received it. I mean, it’s about fonts. What normal person would be interested in fonts? Turns out the answer is me and many other people.

I am not the biggest non-fiction reader on the planet but books about minutia are really interesting to me. We never really consider the fonts we use in our lives. I was completely flabbergasted to find that they had their own history and story. I was also surprised that Garfield was able to convey this history in such an interesting and engaging way. This could easily become a tad bit boring but I literally could not put this book down. And, frankly, some of the creators of these font were a bit off kilter in the sanity department.

This book could have been very boring. I mean it’s a book about typography. Of course it could be very boring. But it wasn’t. Facts and history were given in a very engaging and often humorous manner. The creators of fonts were some of the most interesting characters I have ever come across. I can tell you that I will be more conscious of the fonts I choose. Who wouldn’t be after reading this book?


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

1 comment:

  1. I am fascinated by fonts so I know I'll enjoy this one!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.



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