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Draw Your Own Alphabets: Thirty Fonts to Scribble, Sketch, and Make Your Own Paperback – April 9, 2013


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Draw Your Own Alphabets: Thirty Fonts to Scribble, Sketch, and Make Your Own + Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists + 20 Ways to Draw a Tree and 44 Other Nifty Things from Nature: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616891262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616891268
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brings back fun into your old-fashioned writing. This 160-page book shows you many unique, very creative fonts you can learn to draw on your own. There are even special pages with grids for you to try your hand at duplicating the alphabets they show... I so appreciate that the font samples, which range from very simple to quite intricate, are large enough to really show you the detail. Plus each one has a clever name like Control Chaos, Knit, Skinny Fringe and Spaghetti Junction... whether you're like me and just want to keep hand lettering alive and learn creative new ways to do it, or you truly want to design your own original fonts for your work, this book will surely inspire you." -- Good Reads with Ronna

"Whether you have always been designing through hand-drawn illustrations or are a designer of the computer age, Draw Your Own Alphabets is a great place for you to expand your lettering techniques." -- Complex.com

"Takes the art of custom-drawn fonts-lively, hand-drawn letters often perfected by middle school adepts-to an extraordinary level of sophistication." -- Fine Books & Collections

"Fun and instructive, this book is part ode to handmade fonts, part workbook." -- HOW Design Magazine

About the Author

Tony Seddon is a freelance writer and designer based in East Sussex, UK

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Customer Reviews

If you want to create your own font, get this book.
Bradley Bevers
The combination of too much detail for experts with too little for novices made it hard for me to figure out who the author thought his readers might be.
Marcy L. Thompson
I have a fascination with hand lettering, so when I saw Tony Seddon's book, I was immediately drawn to it.
Latin Pod

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I expected to like this book a great deal, so it's especially disappointing that I hated it instead. There is good news: some of the included hand-drawn alphabets are creative, lovely, amusing, or some combination of those things. However, the book was so poorly conceived and designed that I could hardly bear to look at them.

The biggest problem is that this book has no idea who it's audience is.

Sometimes, the author seems to be speaking to the layperson who is interested in alphabets. This means that he defines things like "typeface" and "font", which is exactly the right thing to do for readers who are not type design experts. However, when apparently addressing novices, the author indulges in asides about this or that idea is not actually scary, and often talks down to his non-expert audience. Here's an important thing for authors if how-to books to keep in mind: being a novice at some specific skill (say, type design) does not make your reader also stupid, naive, or unable to follow discussions. Yes, you may have to define terms and explain things experts already know, but you don't have to do so as if these novices are also novices at reading. The parts of this book which appear to be addressing novices made me squirm because I don't like being treated as if not knowing some specific things must mean that I am just intellectually slow. What's more, while some basics are defined clearly, other things that a novice might not know are glossed over or omitted entirely.

In other parts of the book, the author seems to be addressing people who are type designers, but who design exclusively using computerized tools.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jodi VINE VOICE on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have two major issues with this book......either the fonts are waaaaay too generic (think "Roman Times" on your computer) or they are so complicated that you need a degree in graphic design just to be able to copy them. Or, in some of the fonts, multiple higher degrees may be necessary (as in the "Octobet" font in this book. A degree in graphic design, as well as one in marine biology, may be required to be able to accurately copy this kind of intricate detail!)

If you are looking for fonts that you can easily copy and make your letters, cards, scrapbooks, etc, look a bit nicer, then you are better off scrolling through the fonts that come pre-installed on your computer. if you are looking for intricate, time-consuming fonts that require an ungodly amount of time to finish, then you may find this book interesting. As for me, I have no use for this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. A. Carpenter VINE VOICE on May 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Draw Your Own Alphabets: Thirty Fonts to Scribble, Sketch, and Make Your Own by Tony Seddon is difficult to classify. It is part reference book, part how-to instruction manual, and part font catalog.

About one fourth of the book consists of blank sheets of graph paper. There are 30 fonts presented that were drawn by a dozen or so graphic artists. You can use these samples to improve your drawing skills by copying them or you can use them as inspiration to design your own alphabets. Framing the 30 fonts is a short instruction manual by Seddon on creating your own fonts. There is also a useful reference section that defines terms like glyph, font, and typeface as well as labeling the various parts of each letter.

The 30 fonts are of uneven quality, some are quite readable and clever and others are not. It is interesting to see the differences between fonts especially in the ways that they handle certain key letters, such as the Q. Seddon's instructions about drawing fonts are too brief, while his instructions on how to digitize a font so that it can be used on a computer are very complete and helpful. The color choices for the text of the book, mostly grey and orange, are unfortunate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Worsham on January 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a student studying graphic design with a keen love of typography; when I saw this book, I thought it would be a great resource to help me improve my hand-lettering abilities.

The book has you begin with a couple of very basic exercises taught in most beginner typography courses; from there, it has you copy fonts it has included that look like the type of lettering you would see an elementary student scribble on the edges of their school assignments. The fonts are all display-style and not readable (although legible); plus, they are so specific that a designer MIGHT be able to use the typeface design for one project in their entire career.

It may be a good book for late elementary or middle school aged children, but it is horrible for anyone looking for a little more. Very disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Polm VINE VOICE on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is well-written and reader-friendly.

It begins with 4 one-page essays concerning aspects of hand lettering, with a tiny bit of history thrown in at the beginning. There's also a section at the end: "How to use your Fonts" (pages 142-158) that includes 8 additional articles/essays--including among others a glossary, "Digitizing your Fonts," and "The Anatomy of a Font."

Each font chapter starts with "Anatomy of the Font" a brief description of the font; "Key Font Details"; and "Natural Partners," a list of other fonts that would work well in combination with the font under discussion. Then the chapter proceeds to illustrate the font's capitals on one page and the lower case letters or numbers and/or special characters on the next page (not all fonts have lower case letters, or numbers and special characters).

A slight negative is that I counted at least 36 blank graph pages, intended for the reader to use as practice sheets. So the listed total number of 160 pages includes these that do not add to the content of the book. I would wager that there are a lot of readers that are reluctant to write in their books. I don't plan on it. So for these "filler" pages could be considered a waste of space--pehaps intended as a justification for the price of the book.

To me, the book Creative Lettering by Jenny Doh is a better value, even though it contains only 142 pages and less fonts (but no practice sheets).

Nevertheless, this is a useful book for those interested in such things or who would like to learn how to design their own alphabets.

Recommended.
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