Book recommendation: Just my typeNovember 26, 2012
I haven’t done a book recommendation for ages, probably because I’ve been reading quite a lot of fiction recently and listening to general non-fiction audio books (such as those by Malcolm Gladwell) on my daily 40-minute walk.
However, a good friend recommended Just my type (by Simon Garfield) to me and I’m so glad he did.
What a terrific read! The subject matter (fonts and typefaces) sounds very dry and boring, but this book is any but. It is a delightful romp through typeface history from Gutenberg to just a year or so ago, and offers insights into some of the very human emotions associated with people who are passionate about their profession/vocation.
Garfield writes in such an engaging and entertaining manner that you don’t need to know much at all about fonts to learn something from his book. He covers fonts from Arial to Zipf and many fonts in between, particularly those we see on our computers every day.
I particularly loved Chapter 11 (DIY) where he gave a brief overview of the days of letter stamps, Letraset, IBM golf ball typewriters, Dymo label makers etc. — almost all of which I used in the 70s and 80s and even into the early 90s before I got my first computer.
This book stays with you — since reading it, I’ve really been noticing the types of fonts used for TV/movie credits, on signs, in advertising, logos, etc.
A great read that I highly recommend.