The list author says: "Despite being a retired publication art director I find that I’m still buying books on design and my particular passion: typography. The list contains titles that I’ve found interesting and mostly they are well designed but not necessarily the only books that are worth buying, just the ones that grabbed me.
Some are quite old though, but if you look round the net they can sometimes be picked up quite cheaply. Some are ‘how-to’ in format and others just show beautiful print design solutions. A few are historical overviews of a design style that I thought it was worth knowing about.
There are plenty of books about design and type that I’ve never seen and I want to repeat that my list only includes books that I thought were worth keeping and I still enjoy looking at. It seems to me that many other lists on design are just made up from what Amazon has to offer and the compilers haven’t read any of the books which is no help at all to those who want to know what to buy."
"The only book that I’m aware of that reproduces spreads from the influential U&LC. The magazine considered typography in the widest possible use. If you ever see any copies of U&LC going cheap grab 'em!"
"Having mostly designed publications I always thought it was sort of a specialist area because they come out regularly and look the same from issue to issue and the significant thing is the way the visual part locks together with the text. You really need to work on a publication to know how to design them. An excellent guide to visual journalism."
"I bought this recently and was very impressed with the huge amount of information that Alex White managed to pack into the pages. It’s the opposite of those design books that have a ton of white page space and a few well chosen print examples."
"Grids! Who needs ’em? You do if you need to design something that continues over a few pages or hundreds. Not the easiest book to follow (originally written in German) but it pays off in the end. Starts at the essentials: the text face because that is the least flexible thing in a publication. Plenty of examples printed pages and their grids."
"A huge compendium of the way type is used in the Western world, published in 1989. Though the word ‘today’ is in the title there is coverage of historical material. Not only an overview but plenty of pages devoted to typeface design. If your keen on type this book really should be in your bookcase."
"A top Brit book designer has his say. A bit specialist because most of the examples are art books. About a third of the pages include hands-on info about different text faces with sample settings. Classy looking design and a lovely print job."
"I’m surprised that this is listed on Amazon as it came out in 1961. I’ve always kept it because of it’s large format and looks really cool with some beautiful examples of lead set type. It has some wonderful selections of typographic techniques that still apply today."
"A stunning looking book designed by the great Kit Hinrichs. More a visual portfolio of graphics with explanatory captions though the first forty or so pages have some interesting copy about what design is about."
"A lot of this is out of my expertise: type and logo design but I enjoyed the quirky hands-on approach that Cabarga devotes to the subject. Design elitist will be put off by the book’s layout. It looks (and is) jam packed but despite the staggering amount of illustrative material it does follow a logical style…of Cabarga’s own making."
"The genius of Bill Dorfsman and his work for CBS over the years. His output was amazing and it all looks just so right: concept, type, photography, paper and print. No wonder CBS had a reputation for excellence in past decades. A gorgeous looking book, too."
"Interesting guide to graphic styles and perhaps on the fringe of this List’s content. I found it very annoying that the pages have finger-tabs which makes it difficult to flip from section to section. A bit of designer whimsy that the publisher should have rejected."
"My hero! If I had to pick one designer who inspired me it would be Herb Lubalin. A great looking book showing a huge range of type and graphic solutions: logos, ads, magazines, letterheads, book jackets and insides, packaging, annual reports, type posters and typefaces. Probably remembered best for his magazines: Eros (only four issues) Fact and Avant Garde."
"Beautiful looking though a rather serious book on logo design. I liked the comprehensive way it looked at the subject. A typical Phaidon Press approach to book design: tons of tiny text type so read it only in sunlight."
"A quirky book full of visual clichés taken from the mid-Fifties onwards. Originally published in 1980. For example: ‘eye’ has nine examples, Stars and Stripes: eight; hammer: three; egg: four. Unfortunately its in black and white but a great idea starter."
"If you’ve got this far here’s a lovely big book to end on. I reckon if you are a creative design type then you’ll have a curiosity about visual things and Fletcher’s book is the ultimate 534 page treasure trove of creativity. Check out the reviews. Puts a new crease in your brain!"