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Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works (2nd Edition) Paperback – July 25, 2002

ISBN-13: 002-0170339403 ISBN-10: 0201703394 Edition: 2nd

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Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works (2nd Edition) + Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students + Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Press; 2 edition (July 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201703394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201703399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Stop Stealing Sheep, Second Edition is a unique, entertaining, and educational tour through the most basic unit of written communication: type. World-renowned type experts Erik Spiekermann and E.M. Ginger explain in everyday laymen's terms what type is and how you can use it to enhance the legibility, meaning, and aesthetic level of your work. They elegantly touch on all aspects of typography, including the history and mechanics of type, how to train your eye to recognize and choose typefaces, and how to use space and layout to improve overall communication.

Because type reaches across all boundaries and continually evolves, this edition is revised and updated to include new chapters on Web typography and other forms of online text display. You need no previous knowledge of typography to enjoy this book and apply its tenets to your daily work. A perennial bestseller since the first edition was published in 1993, Stop Stealing Sheep will draw you in with its beautiful design and layout, which makes liberal use of more than 200 illustrations and photographs.

From the Back Cover

An updated new edition of the classic guide to typography.

A unique, entertaining, and educational tour through the most basic unit of human communication: type. This book, a perennial seller since 1993, draws in the reader with its beautiful design and layout, making liberal use of more than 200 illustrations and photographs. The author explains in everyday layman's terms what type is and how you can use it to enhance legibility, meaning, and aesthetic enjoyment. This edition is revised and updated to include new chapters on Web typography and other forms of online text display.

Customer Reviews

This book is a great introduction to typography.
T L
This book certainly wouldn't hurt to own - it's a great resource for going back and getting a quick tip or piece of inspiration: four stars for me.
Nick
These gripes are on the whole, minor points, and the book does not really suffer overly much for it.
Shannon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By "ringpop13606" on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was required for my Typography I class and at first I really enjoyed the stylish layout and color. But eventually I began to hate it because all the important info is flushed to the right side of the page, in red and, worst of all, italicized. I do have to mention that the book has very good visual examples, which is probably the best aspect of the book altogether. This book has tons of great info for beginners in type or graphic design, it just needs to have a less flashy layout.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Beanhauer on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was more flash than content. It looks very nice, always having a gripping picture on the left, a nice layout on the right, and font examples that illustrate the point. As a beginning designer, I didn't learn anything new or concrete, but enjoyed having the book wash over me for awhile.

The oddest thing about the book is the typography. The main text is in a very readable font, but little real information is in the main text. Most of the meat is in the side bars, which are presented in a tiny red san-serif font. So a book on type usage and readability is asking you to read 2-3 paragraphs of informatio in an essentially unreadable font.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Simply stated, this is a swell little book. Will it serve as a single source for all there is to know about typography? Clearly not, but that sort of expectation is baffling. Is it a quick read? Yes, delightfully so, and this is an important feature of the book. The first chapter states, "typography is not an art for the chosen few, but a powerful tool for anyone who has something to say and needs to say it in print or on a screen." This statement serves as a welcome to all readers who take communication seriously, inside and outside the professional design community. Erik Spiekermann and E. M. Ginger have structured their text with an eye to capturing and holding the interest of such a widely diverse readership. Each chapter includes a general body of text, marginal text, and images and typefaces chosen to illuminate key points. This may sound unimaginatively straightforward, however, the book's strength lies in the length and layout of each chapter: brief yet compelling, spritely in tone, aesthetically pleasing with its subtle shifts in typeface and color. It begs to be read in one sitting ... and read again soon. This urge is due in great part to its compact energy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pumpkin King on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you know nothing at all about type, this is a fine introduction. But it stops at the surface. It does cover the various attributes and functions of type, and it's a very quick read (every other page is a picture), so it's definitely not useless. But it's a scattered book that avoids depth at the expense of flashiness. If you're serious about learning about typography, this is probably not the text for you. If you're bored on a subway, or just curious about graphic design, it might be a fun read. Though it serves its purpose as a typography book for the masses, I was left unsatisfied with this "timeless classic on typography."
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By theRobot on January 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
1. Entertainment, not resource. Provides insight into the uses of type, as well as a brief history of many different typefaces. Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typography" (0881792063) is a better book for those in need of a resource.

2. Aimed at a less experienced audience. Discusses type in relation to emotions, legibility, etc, though not in great depth. It does a great job of showing a beginner how important type is, showing a large number of examples of typefaces, and, possibly, inspiring them to look into the subject more thoroughly.

3. The quote used in the title did not come from the authors, it came from F. Goudy in 1936. Also, most of the fonts mentioned in the book cannot be found in Adobe's font library, some are over 100 years old. The book is not trying to sell you anything.

4. The book itself is a great example of what can be accomplished with type. It also contains many instances of type being used to great effect, while explaining how and why it works so well.

5. As someone interested in type, you could do much worse than this book. However, its simple nature, though complete and well-constructed, whets the appetite more than actually satisfying it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nora Brown on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a relative newbie to the study of typography, but still this book is far too basic. I learned a single fact which I had always been curious about - that the letterforms of smaller-point type are different from (not just smaller than) larger-point type in the same face - and that is a pretty elemental thing that most people interested in type are already aware of.
More suprisingly, there are some serious issues with the layout and typography of this book. Some sidebars, which are in small type, are set in yellow. Small yellow print on white paper? Surely a legibility no-no. Also, each page serves as its own mini-essay (and I do mean MINI; on most spreads, only the right-hand page has any text, and even then sometimes only half a page) but lacks a headline, so the reader has no idea what the page is about.
The only useful element in this book is the various type examples, which could easily be found elsewhere.
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38 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book presents a graphic designer's overview of typography. It begins with an anecdote to explain its odd title: "In 1936 Frederic Goudy was in New York City to receive an award for excellence in type design. Upon accepting a certificate, he took one look at it and declared that `Anyone who would letterspace black letter would steal sheep.'" The authors note at the end of the anecdote that they hope the readers "will understand and be amused by Mr. Goudy's pronouncement" by the end of the book. As a typography beginner, I never did understand exactly what Goudy was saying, even by the end of the book. Spiekermann and Ginger assume that readers are already familiar with terms like "letterspace", and never explain them explicitly in the book. As a result, I'm still scratching my head- -just what did Mr. Goudy's certificate look like? What was so wrong, and why? As someone who does not have a background in typography or graphic design, I found quite a few other sections of this book equally perplexing.
Nevertheless, graphic designers who are somewhat familiar with typography will find a lot of valuable information in this book. Throughout the book, the authors describe situations and tasks, and provide samples of various fonts that would be suitable for these tasks. In each instance, they discuss reasons for choosing one font over another, or why the fonts were developed. If you're a designer or an artist who works frequently with type, then you probably have the necessary background to make sense of this book. But real beginners in typography may find Robin Williams' books (for example, "The Non-designer's Design Book) more helpful in developing a basic understanding of the subject.
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