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Just My Type

I’ve been fascinated by type ever since my childhood friend and I used to cycle our bikes into the art and technical drawing supplies shop (the name escapes me) in Charles Street, Cardiff, to buy sheets of Letraset. Get back home and furiously, but carefully, rub the sheets to create works of art (in our minds that is; though Michael was a gifted artist who sadly passed away well before his time).



Ever since then type has been of interest to me and grown to be a fascination. Why do we need so many fonts, how do we respond to them, as experts, as readers, as consumers, as viewers?

So where is this all leading? I recently had the pleasure to come across a little gem of a book dedicated to the world of typefaces.

If you’re not a type geek, no need to be afraid, this book is superbly accessible and entertaining. It’s also deeply insightful, and I think succeeds in raising the value of typefaces in our consciousness. But it also lavishes upon us the backgrounds of the people who came to design the fonts we use everyday (and sometimes) take for granted, not to mention the labour that once was needed to create the fonts we now almost flippantly drop down from our on-screen menus and use.

From the first font created for the Gutenberg Bible, to pariahs such as Comic Sans; the difference between readability and legibility; the peculiar, often sad, and sometime distasteful personal histories of the creators, it’s all here. You’ll be hooked from page one...I was.

Jeff

Published by Profile Books 978-1846683015

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