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Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works Paperback – January 7, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0672485435 ISBN-10: 0672485435

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Pr (January 7, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672485435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672485435
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Frederic Goudy, American type designer, once said, "Anyone who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep." To most people, this comment only adds to the perception that type inhabits a mysterious world with intricate terminology and elaborate rules; added to this are thouasands of type faces out there that all seem to look alike. Until now, Spiekerman and Ginger shepherd their decades of typograhpic experience into a unique and lively guidebook which shows that type is easy to use, easy to understand, and in the hands of a savvy user, a powerful communications tool. You need no previous knowledge of typography to enjoy Stop Stealing Sheep. It makes no difference what kind of computer you work on, what type of software you use, or what you do for a living, because as the authors show- type, good type -reaches across all boundaries, computer platforms, and professional distinctions.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

218 of 254 people found the following review helpful By Matt McDowall on July 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Spiekermann and Ginger have, essentially, nothing to say. Unfortunately, they spend over 150 pages saying it. The worst of it is that there are all kinds of color photos, headings, etc., so the book is printed on heavy, glossy paper. This is bad because (a) glossy paper is hard to read text on (as ANY designer should know) and (b) both heavy/glossy paper and color inks are expensive. Thus, you must pay $20 for a book that could very easily be condensed into a $1.50 pamphlet. The book is often touted as an introduction into type because it is basic and easy to access. The problem is that it is TOO basic. If you know what a serif is, this book is too basic for you. If you know that it is possible to adjust the spacing between letters, words, or lines of type, then this book is WAY too basic for you--even if you aren't familiar with terms like letterspacing and leading. Get a book that will be a real introduction--if you're going to learn about type, learn enough that it will make a difference. If you want easy access, pick up something by Robin Williams (doesn't matter what--they're all about the same). If you really want to learn something, get Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style. Whatever you do, pass this book up. You could learn more, cheaper, from a high-school yearbook instructor.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Harden on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have suggested, the book is a simple, introductory glance at graphic design. It is, presumably, written for those who have never considered the impact of font selection and page layout on the reader, viewer, etc. Still, it makes a nice companion text for more serious graphic designers, as well as a welcome first-read for individuals who encounter or produce graphic materials on a daily basis, but who have little formal training in the discipline.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a graphic art professor, I use this book as an introduction to type for those who have never considered the subject before. It is popular with students for ease of reading and understanding. A must for anyone starting a serious study of type.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By O. Kagan on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
The first thing that must be said about "Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works" is that its purpose is simply not clear. If it's supposed to be a book for beginners to learn about type, it lacks effective headings, and (maybe most importantly) a glossary; despite typographic differences within the text, importance of information is not well designated, which leads one to ask, how is a beginner to know what's vital? Likewise, the exceedingly simple analogies re: Type in the main text and lack of info-richness show that this book is not for the expert. So who is this book for? Therein the problem.

"Stop Stealing Sheep..." is undeniably well-designed(read: pretty); it is clear that the authors put a good deal of time and enthusiasm into creating the layout, finding and creating visual elements and atmosphere for their book. Each page has a picture of its own, so out of the roughly 159 pages (not counting appendices), 77 of them have text, subtract the mostly blank title spreads and you have 65-70 pages of actual text. And the pages that do have text don't contain a large amount; If it seems like I am criticizing the info-density of "Stop Stealing Sheep..." I am; this book may very well be a stereotypical 'airhead': gorgeous, but lacking substance.

I would like to temper the above statement by adding that the side-bars do contain some very interesting historical facts about type; the meat of the book, it seems, is in these side-bars. Another aspect of "Stop Stealing Sheep..." that I enjoyed is that the authors give a lot of visual examples; every other-page highlights the fonts mentioned by setting them below the side-bar for the reader to examine (I spent much time with this book analyzing 'handgloves' written in different type).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
It was a good, entertaining read, if a bit light on actual content. Useful if you have no idea what type to pick, but if you've ever thrown something together by the seat of your pants and had someone comment favorably on it, you probably don't need this. Some people are born with an innate design sense -- this is for those who weren't.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jose O. on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first time I saw this book it was in a fellow designer's bookshelf and I thought the title was humorous and very well targeted. Anybody who knows type understand the joke in "anyone who letterspaces blackletter type would steal sheep" and if you haven't heard of the quote nor get the joke then you are probably a type beginner who could use this book.

I don't agree with other reviews stating that the book is too basic and so it serves no purpose. Yes, it is basic, but 170+ pages of good basic introductory material. I would recommend it for student graphic designers, artists and multimedia designers who work with type but are not necessarily drawn to it. This book gives you the basics with a lot of examples and a humoristic approach that should keep you entertained long enough for you to grasp the ideas.

This is not a reference and it doesn't talk about advanced matters, but it will provide a tremendous wealth of knowledge to anybody new to type specifics. Sure one could get the basics from a 7-page pamphlet, but design is about making sense of the ideas and I can't imagine a beginner understanding all these concepts without the help of an array of examples such as the ones contained in this small book.
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