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Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces Paperback – September 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1568987651 ISBN-10: 156898765X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (September 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156898765X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987651
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Party in honor of the release of the new book 'Lettering & Type' which will include the exhibit 'Fan Letter (26 Artists and Designers Present Their Favorite Letter or Typographic Character)'" --Designrelated

"First off... no, Post Typography is not us. I know... we should have thought about it but we didn't. Even if we did, these other cool dudes did almost a decade ago." -- Chad Kouri --The Post Family

"Were pleased as punch to have our work included in the book Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces by Bruce Willen and Noel Strals, which was just published by Princeton Architectural Press. The book includes work by so many people we admire, including Margaret Kilgallen and Stefan Sagmeister." --Visualingual

"Just received my copy of Lettering & Type: Creating Letters & Designing Typefaces by Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals. Smaller than I had expected (7x8.5" with only 130 pages), but beautiful with lots of typographic eye candy and some useful information for beginning type designers and anybody else who wants to develop a more critical eye for the subtleties of letterforms." --A Type Designers Journal

"Lettering & Type is a smart-but-not-dense guide to creating and bending letters to ones will. More than just another pretty survey, it is a powerful how-to book full of relevant theory, history, explanatory diagrams, and exercises. While other type design books often get hung up on the technical and technological issues of type design and lettering, Lettering & Type features the context and creativity that shape letters and make them interesting." --Typegoodness

"More than just another pretty survey, Lettering & Type is a powerful and essential how-to book full of relevant theory, history, explanatory diagrams, exercises, and inspiring examples of contemporary lettering and typeface design." --Entropy

"Another solid read from the Design Brief series. Great visuals and a good range of information from history to creating lettering and type design." -- Dave Aquino --Inspiration Explosion

"While other type design books get hung up on the technical and technological issues of type design and lettering, Lettering & Type features the context and creativity that shape letters and make them interesting." --Books Variety

"Lots of typographic eye candy and some useful information for beginning type designers and anybody else who wants to develop a more critical eye for the subtleties of letter forms." --A Type Designers Journal

"Fans of Post Typography and Double Dagger will already be familiar with Bruce Willen and Nolan Strals. For those uninitiated, the graphic design/teacher/rock stars will have a new label on Thursday: authors.Their book, Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typeface, is a collection of essays by designers and artists, detailing the history, theory and art of the letters of the alphabet." -- Nancy Johnston --The Baltimore Sun

"No component of graphic design has attracted as much interest or inspired as much innovation in recent years as lettering and type.

These fundamentals of design, once the exclusive domain of professional typographers, have become an essential starting point for anyone looking for a fresh way to communicate." --Dexigner

"Lettering & Type is a smart-but-not-dense guide to creating and bending letters to one's will. More than just another pretty survey, it is a powerful how-to book full of relevant theory, history, explanatory diagrams, and exercises, ideal for anyone looking to move beyond existing typography to create original or customized letterforms. With a foreword by Ellen Lupton and hundreds of images and examples of work by historical and contemporary designers, artists, and illustrators, including Marian Bantjes, Stefan Sagmeister, Matthew Carter, Christoph Niemann, Steve Powers (ESPO), House Industries, Christian Schwartz, Margaret Kilgallen, James Victore, Abbott Miller, Sibylle Hagmann, Ed Fella, and more." --Typedia

About the Author

For nearly a decade, Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals have collaborated under the label Post Typography on creative projects encompassing graphic design, illustration, typography, lettering, and printmaking with additional forays into art, apparel, music, curatorial work, design theory, and vandalism. They both live in Baltimore.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By BN on May 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
OK for beginners, but mostly redundant for intermediate/advanced design students. The first half of the book is a very basic rehash of typography 101 (e.g. "this is an ascender. this is a counter"). We finally get into type design/lettering in the second half, but the information provided is very light - we mostly get a showcase of different kinds of custom lettering and bare bones intro to letterforms and typeface design. This is also not a how-to guide - doesn't really get into the mechanics of lettering, and offers few examples of it.

Check out Karen Cheng's 'Designing Type' and Leslie Cabarga's 'Logo Font & Lettering Bible' if you really want to learn the subject.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jason Castle on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Acknowledging that "mastering the art of arranging letters in space and time is essential knowledge for anyone who crafts communications for page or screen," this book's focus is on letterforms themselves and even creating them (type design) rather than on arranging them beautifully (typography). Type design is an art (or perhaps 'craft' would be a better word) that requires a blend of both technical and visual skills, and in fact covers such a broad range of disciplines that it can be somewhat intimidating. But, this book seems to provide a "friendly, openhearted introduction" to type design, with a brief overview of the history of the written and printed word, typeface classification and terminology, case studies and type design exercises. There are also interviews with some of the luminaries in this field, including renowned type designer Christian Schwartz, whom I remember when he was starting out at the age of 14!

As in any visual art, type design is a matter of developing your eye, so learning to really look at letters critically is essential. The chapter of this book that I think might be most helpful to the beginning type designer is appropriately titled "Designing Typefaces", which illustrates many of the subtle tricks a designer must use to compensate for optical illusions and such. This is the one area that separates professional type designers from the wannabes, and I must confess that I'm still trying to master it. So, I suggest book-marking this chapter. [...]
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bigus on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that covers too many topics for a thin (128 pages) and small (7 x 9 inch) volume and consequently does justice to no one topic as well as an illustrated magazine article. Its section "A Compressed History of the Roman Alphabet" fails to mention Gutenberg (though he is mentioned once in a latter chapter) and the text is so sparsely illustrated I'm afraid it will do more to confuse readers than inform them. Its section, "Lettering As Image" is mostly contemporary with the worse examples of its kind I've seen, this subject goes back to the Greeks though the authors begin with the 1890s Art Nouveau.

While this book is not an academic text or how-to book I am using it as a required text in my beginning type class since Karen Cheng's book, Designing Type is currently out of print. The book covers many of the essentials: Type Anatomy (which it calls "Letter Structures"), Typeface Classification Categories (though there is no section on typeface comparison & only the cap & lower case letter "a" is typeset), Calligraphy, Book and Display type (there is also a brief section on "Creating Text Letters & Book Types that is good) and end with a section on designing typefaces. However, this last section is only 17 pages and only covers one typeface, Franklin Gothic. Many of the books marginal captions and notes are the more interesting and informative parts of the book.

The book does one thing well that I am hoping my students will appreciate; and that's its emphasis on how handwriting and hand lettering have functioned as inspirational models in contemporary type design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By El Conde on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an artist and designer who's interested in all forms of design, this book was a great introduction to the world of letters. It provides a fascinating background on the alphabet, fonts, and lettering and helps explain the difference between handwriting, lettering, and typography.

This book seems like it would be a great resource for a graphic design student or illustrator who wants to learn more about making their own letters and fonts. Or for someone who is already working a lot with typography and wants to improve their knowledge and skill base it will probably be informative. Looking at some of the examples in the book and reading about the histories of different letter styles inspired me to incorporate more lettering and type into my own work.

I can see what some of the other reviewers are saying that this book will probably not have a lot of new info for an advanced type designer. But for a designer like me who didn't know much about type design and the world of custom lettering, the book was a really enjoyable, informative read. It definitely makes me take a closer look at alphabet letters and typefaces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Wandling on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great addition to the design book collection. Be sure to pick this one up today, features really great type examples! A must for type designers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maureen Perry on October 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic book! I'm obsessed. Everyone interested in typography should read it. It's so informative and a great read. I can't recommend it more.
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More About the Author

For nearly a decade, Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals have collaborated under the label Post Typography on creative projects encompassing graphic design, illustration, typography, lettering, and printmaking with additional forays into art, apparel, music, curatorial work, design theory, and vandalism. They both live in Baltimore.

No component of graphic design has attracted as much interest or inspired as much innovation in recent years as lettering and type. These fundamentals of design, once the exclusive domain of professional typographers, have become an essential starting point for anyone looking for a fresh way to communicate. Practical information about creating letters and type often amounts to a series of guidelines for executing a particular process, font program, or style. But what makes lettering and type endlessly fascinating is the flexibility to interpret and sometimes even break these rules. Lettering & Type is a smart-but-not-dense guide to creating and bending letters to one's will. More than just another pretty survey, it is a powerful how-to book full of relevant theory, history, explanatory diagrams, and exercises. While other type design books get hung up on the technical and technological issues of type design and lettering, Lettering & Type features the context and creativity that shape letters and make them interesting.

Authors and designers Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals examine classic design examples as well as exciting contemporary lettering of all stripes--from editorial illustrations to concert posters to radical conceptual alphabets. Lettering & Type is ideal for anyone looking to move beyond existing typography and fonts to create, explore, and use original or customized letterforms. This latest addition to our best-selling Design Briefs series features a foreword by Ellen Lupton and hundreds of images and examples of work by historical and contemporary designers, artists, and illustrators, including Marian Bantjes, Stefan Sagmeister, Matthew Carter, Christoph Niemann, Steve Powers (ESPO), House Industries, Christian Schwartz, Margaret Kilgallen, James Victore, Abbott Miller, Sibylle Hagmann, Ed Fella, and many more. Throughout the book interviews with type designers, artists, and graphic designers provide real-world perspective from contemporary practitioners.

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Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces
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