From the Inside Flap
American Type Design & Designers, by David Consuegra, is a comprehensive resource of American type designers that connects biographies of typographers with the intent and usage of typefaces. Students and designers would greatly benefit from thoroughly reading and referencing this book in their research. Great detail and bibliographical data are provided to easily investigate topics further. Few readers of any professional practice could leave without thoroughly understanding type and how to design effectively after reading Consuegra's book and investigating the references he cites.
David Consuegra interposes his opinion of good type design where it is appropriate. The experience Consuegra brings to this book is evident, and confirms accuracy in the text. He has chosen to highlight the development of type and the relationships between typefaces, including limited descriptions of specific usage. The biographies themselves are set in one of the typographer's typefaces and many logotype and design uses are exemplified.
A brief history of the letterform is given in the introduction to help the reader understand the development of type. I would still recommend reading Phillip Meggs' A History in Graphic Design, referenced in Consuegra's book, for further historical background. Though, Consuegra's extensive timeline is both enlightening and necessary. I would also recommend that a colorful, more visual approach to the timeline be designed to best communicate it's content.
Alphabetizing the typographers is a fantastic solution, supported by an alphabetical glossary of typefaces. The index and early page references are mismatched on occasion. However, the book is so clearly laid out, that an intelligent reader could locate their reference point. This is in part due to the extensive nature of the material, which though broad, still excludes a few typographers. However, I can recall no such comprehensive book centered on typographers that is an easy to access tool for designers needing to sharpen their typographical skills.
This book includes an extensive bibliography, citing any reference a designer will need. I also appreciate that Consuegra respects the intelligence of his audience, satisfying any insatiable curiosity. He provides a well researched history of type design in America.
--- Jennifer Idol
Newsletter Chair, Austin Chapter
AIGA, American Institute of Graphic Arts
About the Author
is professor emeritus of graphic design, layout, and typography at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a member of the International Trademark Center in Belgium. The author of several books on graphic design, he lives in Bogotá, Colombia.