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A Type Primer [Paperback]

by John Kane
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)


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Paperback, September 22, 2002 --  
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Book Description

September 22, 2002 013099071X 978-0130990716 1

Practical and hands-on in approach, this book/exercise manual speaks clearly to beginning graphic designers and others involved with type about the complex meeting of message, image, and history surrounding typography. Focused on intent and content, not affect or style, it makes informed distinctions between what is appropriate and what is merely show (especially in terms of the "junk" often generated unenlightened by computer users). Filled with examples, exercises, and background information--and designed itself to reflect good typographic design--it guides readers systematically to the point where they can not only understand but demonstrate basic principles of typography, and thereby strengthen their own typographic instincts. Basics. Development. Letters. Words and Phrases. Text. Simple Organization. Grid Systems. For beginning graphic designers and others interested in learning the effective use of type.



Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A practical introduction to typography, this book analyzes the basic principles and applications of type. From measuring type and classifying typefaces to organizing text on a page and understanding grid systems, the author covers everything that the beginning student of graphic design needs to know. In addition, he includes a brief history of typography, numerous examples to illustrate the points raised, and a series of useful exercises to help readers put basic principles into practice.

Engagingly written, this book is an invaluable resource for the beginning graphic designer and a useful refresher far the more experienced one.

About the Author

John Kane teaches typography and graphic design at Northeastern University and at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. He has been a practicing graphic designer and teacher for the last twenty-five years.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (September 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013099071X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130990716
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Kane teaches typography and graphic design at Northeastern University and at Rhode Island School of Design. He has been a practicing graphic designer and teacher for the last thirty-five years.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typography 101 April 16, 2004
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent, well organized, and easy to use tool in learning the history, classification, and organization of type. It is a great text for anyone starting out in the design field as well as for the experienced designer. I never knew exactly how much care and detail went into properly setting type until I got into this book. Mr. Kane has included excellent visual examples and some extremely useful exercises to help illustrate each subject covered in the text. The book flows very well and is a pleasurable read, and there is always something new for your eyes to take in on the next page.
I had the pleasure of taking two classes taught by Mr. Kane, and he definately knows typography backwards and forwards. He, as well as his book, is a wealth of knowledge for the aspiring designer.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very modern and practical February 3, 2003
Format:Paperback
A great book that introduces to the beginner many of the sensitivities that one ought to have when working with type.
It gives many great practical examples and exercises that makes one appreciate type on many levels.
As one who is taking a class in Typography, this is a great book to have by one's side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very practical guide July 8, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Kane is both an old-school typographer, but has also been a teacher for many years. It shows in this work. It is a simple book, sometimes with a single image on each page. But yet it manages to convey many difficult typographical principles quickly and effectively. The format could be read in an afternoon, but re-read many times. He makes it all seem easy and light.

Highly recommended for beginners, or those wishing to brush up on the fundamentals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, get the paper copy instead January 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought the electronic version and I somewhat regret it. Go with the paper one, things will be much better for the eyes and you can turn to the pages you want easier. Sometimes when I zoomed on the ebook it becomes distorted/blurry so get the paper version.

Lots of information on structure as well and what goes into the typefaces and such.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! January 6, 2012
By Reader
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though still reading, the book is simple and interesting to read for a novice in typography. Very recomended to anyone interested, but knowing nothing about typography.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Insight for Newcomers December 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've loved type for a long time, and hoped to find a book that would frame it in a simple, but insightful package. This book did just that. I feel like I have enough to understand the language of the industry and really begin a healthy course towards progress in the profession. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Walks its talk. December 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Clean and clear: this book walks you through a few simple exercises, such as typesetting a recipe. Very clean, grid-based modernist design with beautiful proportions in classic red, white and black (but a very sumptuous, warm red was chosen). This is a great primer for design students. Takes a slightly different tact than other classics such as Designing with Type 5 (also great).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every designer should have this book.
I use this book all the time - it is clear, concise, and informative. I have learned so much from it!
Published 5 months ago by Kelly O.
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a Required Textbook
There is actually in a better textbook for Typography than this one. Plus it is a required textbook for the Typography course. Read more
Published 6 months ago by NUZHAT GARDEZI
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, Very informative.
Took a Typography class with John Kane the author and it was extremely helpful for his class. We covered a lot that was included in the book. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. Lehane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
This is an excellent and in-depth book, that clearly conveys the fundamentals of typography that is missing in a lot of today's graphic design.
Published 18 months ago by aleigh03
5.0 out of 5 stars What I needed!
Ordered this book for my typography class and it came really fast. Book was brand new. Good buy!
Product also came in a box with a hard cardboard inside.
Published on February 29, 2012 by realistik
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Sauce
This book really shows the ins' and outs' of typography. I highly recommend people who are beginning in graphing design. It will give you a great basis.
Published on September 20, 2011 by Ritz!
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
I studied with John while he was writing this book. The essential good of John's teaching is in these pages. Read more
Published on April 5, 2011 by Adam M. Rotmil
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