Just My Type

Just My Type

A Book About Fonts

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you?

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 .

Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, [2011], c2010
ISBN: 9781592406524
1592406521
Branch Call Number: 686.224
Characteristics: 356 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,22 cm

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m
mammothhawk229e
Nov 16, 2017

Offbeat book on who created the fonts, who used them & how computers via word processing programs changed the game.
There even a chapter on clone font where the variant was a tweaked to avoid copyright. The biggest transgressor was Microsoft.
The final chapter on best & worst fonts good for a laugh.

k
KindleReader2014
Mar 15, 2017

For the reviewer below, the book was set in Sabon typeface (it says so about halfway through the book, on the upper half of a right side page somewhere). I've never heard of Sabon. Anyhow, this was an interesting book that tells you about the main fonts in life (Helvetica, Arial, Gill Sans, Verdana, Futura, Bodoni, etc.) and their history (who developed them, what year, their design goals, etc.)

I liked that it mentioned which fonts (typefaces, to be precise) are used most often for various purposes and steered me in the right direction for picking a font for some generic uses. The print book was nice because sometimes it showed several fonts side by side so you could compare them easily.

BklynAmyM Aug 30, 2016

Did you know that Comic Sans is considered the most accessible font for dyslexic children? That Matthew Carter, the inventor of Verdana, got his start at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn? A lovingly crafted history of fonts, for aficionados and trivia buffs alike.

LoganLib_Adults Apr 18, 2016

Quirky but fascinating book about the development of typeface, and what your chosen font says about you!

p
Polruan
Jul 14, 2015

Quirky but fascinating book about the development of typeface, and what your chosen font says about you!

LDuke2012 Feb 27, 2013

This is my 2nd attempt to write a review on the book “Just My Type” by Simon Garfield. I wrote this lovely review that got eaten by my phone so here we go again. A causal browse through my bookshelves will indicate that a book called “just my type” would be right up my preferred genre’s alley but you would be wrong.
This isn’t mass market romantic fiction but a book about fonts. I’m writing my review in Arial Narrow point 11 but have no idea what it will turn into when I copy and paste into the library and goodreads review sites. I recommend this book to just about everyone that has an interest in history, art, graphic design, or how the alphabet used can make or break a sales pitch.
I think you have to develop an eye for fonts like you develop an ear for sound when learning a foreign language or musical instrument. It is for this reason I give this book 4 instead of 5 stars, simply because I couldn’t figure out what font the main text was printed in. In the “good old days” of publishing a hard back book would often have a page at the end of the book saying this book was published in XYZ font, # point on an ABC printing press. I always looked at those pages and thought, Huh, why does the average reader care. I think the average reader doesn’t but that was a subtle marketing tactic by the publishers and perhaps required by the font designers so credit was given where credit was due. The author may have stated the type of font used but I missed it. I found the info about digital fonts sad but inevitable.
I have always known that fonts played a big part in marketing messages and advertisements, in which the way an alphabetic letter is shapes brings out differing emotions in people. I didn’t really get into whys and wherefores of different fonts until I started selling Yellow Book ads and many business owners wanted a font that matched their logo in their display ads. I wanted their ads to be legible. I truly believe a good font in most cases is undemanding of its reader because of good clarity and legibility.
I’ve seen a Gutenberg Bible and understand the revolution that he caused by inventing the movable type printing press. (That was a 4th or 5th grade trip to the Gutenberg museum in Mainz Germany, http://www.gutenberg-museum.de/index.php?id=29&L=1 (where my more pressing concern was what I was going to drink at lunch, we were asked while traveling from school on the army school bus for our orders so the restaurant would be ready for us. The options were Coke (forbidden in my house) and mineral water (which can be delicious or nasty depending on the brand and I didn’t know which brand would be offered), & tap water was most assuredly not being served by the wait staff that accommodated 60 plus American school kids after the trip to the museum)). But since I could read some German I read the placards while touring the museum and admired the fancy work done by the monks in the pre-mass printing bibles on display. Fonts have come a long way since Gutenberg and this is an enjoyable read.

d
d3chow
Aug 20, 2012

Not a typical book I would read but browsed through it after seeing it on the Fast Reads section and seemed intriguing. Picked it up and turned out to be very interesting, informative and funny at times. A fun geeky read.

k
KarenW
Jun 25, 2012

This is about type, not personality type, but type. What you are reading now. and what you will be reading next. Font affects our emotions and our choices. Font makes us think of time past or present or future. And ever since Gutenburg carved the first letter out we have been seeing what the letters not only say but how they speak to us.

w
wac6
Sep 05, 2011

Entertaining, covered a lot of ground, moved quickly. Book is well written and well designed. A pleasure.

w
wong_george_wl
Jul 15, 2011

saw a review of this book,

fonts and types
have been interesting to me
since
computer programs such as
coral draw, and photoshop

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abraham_8
Jun 21, 2016

abraham_8 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and under

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