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Logo, Font & Lettering Bible Hardcover – March, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leslie Cabarga has been an illustrator, graphic designer and font designer since 1975. He has authored over two dozen books on design including The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations, The Designer's Guide to Global Color Combinations and Learn FontLab Fast. As an illustrator he's drawn covers for Time, Newsweek, Fortune and National Lampoon. He has designed numerous fonts, such as Magneto, Streamline, Raceway and the Love and Peace family of psychedelic fonts.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: How Design Books (March 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581804369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581804362
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For most of his life, Leslie Cabarga considered himself not so much a writer but as an illustrator and graphic designer. Yet his very first book, The Fleischer Story (a history of the Max Fleischer animation studio) was published when he was 19 years old, several years before he would become one of the most popular illustrators in New York. Leslie went on to write and/or edit over 40 books, ranging from clip art collections for Dover publications to the ever popular Logo, Font & Lettering Bible, the only manual showing how to create lettering from scratch in the digital age. But he also produced the channeled book, "Talks with Trees," which has been gaining popularity over the past 10 years. Leslie likes to take subjects (such as the Max Fleischer cartoons, and lettering and font creation) and produce the "last word" on each subject. As he says, "It's mostly just to get these topics out of my system so I can move on." And move on he has! As amazon reader reviews of his Lettering "Bible" attest, the humor throughout the instructional text is part of what makes this book so enjoyable. "So I decided to move away from design topics and go for the humor--along with a bit of forward-looking social commentary," Leslie says. The result is the recently-published "We Hold These Truths," the story of what happens when a Truth Bomb drops on the world and people everywhere are compelled to live their truths. The book is as profoundly compelling as it is amusing. Like the book "Trees," We Hold These Truths is a channeled book that Leslie first began "receiving" more than 15 years ago. The contrast between design and spirit channeling is not so far apart, for as Leslie says, "Artists are seekers of truth. We are always questioning ourselves--why should it be this way rather than that? Where is the truth in this statement? The best artists are often those who willingly subject themselves to the most unmerciful critiques of their own creations." And," he says, "my body of work in the graphics field shows that there's nothing airy-fairy about us channelers. Actually, I'm a very down-to-earth guy." Indeed, Leslie tells us he's got another dozen or so books in planning stages on subjects ranging from health and nutrition to human sexuality. Which brings up Leslie's latest book, "Topless Summer Love Girls; A Gentleman's Guide to Women, Relationships & Breasts." It is a book that looks seriously tat men's issues while at the same time satirizing men's obsessions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By David Bricker on March 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm a typography nut and a college design instructor. I love older, more traditional approaches to typography and am always wary of many newer books that think of type as the simple digital byproduct of computer keystrokes. Here's a book that makes the important connection between real typography and the digital world.
Once you get past the awful cover of this otherwise incredible book, you'll find an exploration of type and letterforms that draws from history and explores numerous aspects of type in a whimsical and entertaining way. This is one of those rare books that lets the design talk about design and shows good and bad examples as well as successful rule-breaking. The tone is light and entertaining, and the author doesn't prattle on with formal, intellectual approaches.
The book covers how to see type, how to work with type, how to create type, what is (and isn't) a logo, and also shares works by great typographers like Michael Doret and others.
While typography is not on everyone's list of most entertaining subjects, this book is as fun as it is educational. I'm recommending it to all my students at the Art Institute and can't see how any designer would fail to both enjoy it and benefit from it. If you buy one type book, this is the one.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Fred Showker on June 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I predict the Logo Font & Lettering Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design, Construction and Usage of Alphabets and Symbols by Leslie Cabarga will become a classic for the graphic artist, designer and signer.
The publisher is hyping this book as a Logo book. Their pitch says: "This book-a hands-on guide to the entire logo-making process-combines an enjoyable visual approach with extensive, industry-tested information." And all that's true. However I wonder if the writers for How Design Books have ever done lettering or desinged a logo. I don't think so by the level of excitement in their releases.
No, this is not all together about just logos, fonts and lettering; this is about the very soul of an art, a design discipline, and a fine craft. This is about the way creative people think and react to visual stimuli. This is about the most visually exciting and inspiring book for graphic designers to come along in long, long time. In fact, I cannot remember any that really come close.
BRAVO, Leslie, my JMU Typography students will LOVE this one -- and I know it's one they'll really use just because it's so much fun!
If you don't buy this book, you'll be missing something very important.
Fred Showker,
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Ross on April 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I normally don't buy many books dealing with art but the title caught my eye. This book is excellent. I've been a typographer and letterer for over half my life and I wish I had something like this 20 years ago. It covers many aspects of good logo design as well as using and modifying a font for a design. In my opinion the best part is when Mr. Cabarga goes into some detail about designing and creating your own font. This is an idea that I have been toying with for sometime and now that I have read this book I have a lot of ideas on how to get started. I couldn't recommend this book enough.
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64 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Cristian Loghin on January 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am amazed at the large number of positive commentaries about this book. It because of them that I made the mistake of buying it.

I am a professional designer/typographer and please trust me when I tell you this book is absolutely worthless. The only people this book may appeal to are those who design 30$ logos for crowd sourcing sites. I wouldn't normally come down on it so hard, as I can appreciate the effort the author put into it, but this book makes a point of promoting bad quality design. Even the way the book is designed (by Leslie Cabarga himself) is so bad that it will make any self respecting designer want to jump out of a moving train into an electric fence. Mr. Cabarga is not a designer, at best he is an illustrator (check out his website and think if you want to buy a book about type design from a guy who made the Mighty Mouse logo).

I guess any book that promotes itself as a "bible"(with the exception of the actual Bible) is not worth the paper it's printed on.

If you want to see examples of good lettering buy one of Doyald Young's books (Logotypes & Letterforms: Handlettered Logotypes and Typographic Considerations). If you want to learn something about type design, then Karen Cheng's Designing Type will give you a decent introduction. If it's typography you're into, the R.Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style is a must. Or just visit the websites and for free.

Whatever you do, stay away from this book, please.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By H. Clark on December 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm torn on this book. Overall, it is a fantastic resource. The author spent a tremendous amount of time collecting rare and valuable visual resources encompassing everything from scanned pages out of the sketchbooks of legendary designers, old ephemera, in-depth type explorations to variations on famous logos and visual examples of virtually every typographic style you could imagine. He shows work from hundreds of letterers and designers that I've never heard of and have trouble finding info about anywhere else. In terms of pure scope and content, it can't be beat. He also provides tutorials on simple typography that would be useful for a beginner, though I do question his aesthetic sense-- his overuse of outlines and type-effects is rather heinous.

What I don't like about the book is the author himself. A little personality is ok, but I find his sense of humor obnoxious and often rude and self-righteous. More troublingly, a lot of his advice is really bad. Prime example: how hypothetical work is bad for novices but spec work is useful, or how you should "puff up" logo comp presentations with tons of variations just so the client sees more options. As the author, he is speaking from a position of innate authority, but based on his body of work, opinions, and aesthetic, I just don't see that authority as justified-- especially with such a presumptuous title as this one has. Additionally, I find his stances on the distinction between copying and inspiration, on self-promotion, on dealing with printers, even on calligraphy to be anywhere from obnoxious to highly unethical (at one point he takes the artwork from a vintage book cover and simply REFLECTS IT in Photoshop, slaps some new type on it and calls it "his own".
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