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Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students [Paperback]

by Ellen Lupton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 6, 2010 1568989695 978-1568989693 2 Rev Exp
Our all time best selling book is now available in a revised and expanded second edition. Thinking with Type is the definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. This revised edition includes forty-eight pages of new content, including the latest information on style sheets for print and the web, the use of ornaments and captions, lining and non-lining numerals, the use of small caps and enlarged capitals, as well as information on captions, font licensing, mixing typefaces, and hand lettering. Throughout the book, visual examples show how to be inventive within systems of typographic form—what the rules are and how to break them. Thinking with Type is a type book for everyone: designers, writers, editors, students, and anyone else who works with words. The popular online companion to Thinking with Type ( has been revised to reflect the new material in the second edition.

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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: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 2 Rev Exp edition (October 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568989695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568989693
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Lupton is the author, coauthor, or editor of 13 books with PAPress, including Design Culture Now; Skin: Surface, Substance + Design; Inside Design Now; Thinking with Type; D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself; and D.I.Y. Kids. She is Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York and Director, Graphic Design MFA Program, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. she is hte recipient of numerous awards including I.D. Forty, 1992; Chrysler Design Award, 1996; and AIGA Gold Medal, 2007.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great handbook November 2, 2010
By kenk
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is serious about graphic layout. It is not a type book; it does not review fonts individually. Rather, it considers type as a visual element. Accessibly written, someone new to the field could use it, as well as experienced graphic artists and those for whom the page is important. A good investment for the artist on a budget, too.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great additions! October 24, 2010
By Becca
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've used "Thinking with Type" for the last year and a half in the typography classes that I teach. I thought the first edition was a useful tool. Then one of my students ordered this one, and let me look at it...and I was amazed at all of the new information (like a separate page each for numbers, punctuation, and ornaments) and examples that had been added. I ordered it for myself as soon as possible, and will be recommending the second edition to all of my students from now on.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone graphically inclined November 30, 2010
This book was suggested to me on Amazon because of other books I ordered on graphically displaying data, and I'm so happy it was! This book has easy-read essays about letters, text, and grids, all followed by some specific do's and don't's, and ideas/exercises to consider, all without being too preachy and laying the groundwork for you to make your own decisions about how to display text. I'm an urban planning & design student and I loved this book- I think anyone who will ever create anything from a report to a poster to a presentation should read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Thinking with type is a critical guide for graphic designers. This book is not just about fonts. It's about seeing type as a visual element. Terms such as kerning, hierarchy, and type size give meaning to type in a visual composition. Creatively speaking, designers are able to manipulate typography and turn it into a message, like a symbolic code or a meaning.

The categories of this book are dissected into four components that consist of letters, texts, grids, and appendix. In the letters category, type is displayed as a narrative and a program. In electronic communication, one designer created typefaces consisting of no diagonals or curves in order to display type on a video screen. The designer proposed a design methodology that is rule-based and systematic.

In narratives, typography adopts the behaviors of the typeface’s name. One example from the book is a typeface called Beowulf. Created in 1990, this typeface has randomized outlines suggesting a behavior similar to the typeface itself.

In the text category, kerning is a really important subject in this book. The use of adjustment of space between two letters is significant in type. Ellen Lupton explains this beautifully in pages 102-103. These pages cover two types of kerning, metric and optical. Exercising space, Line spacing, and alignment are something that designers must be aware of when designing typography.

Throughout this book, there are helpful terms and guides on how not to treat type. These rules are called type crimes. Rules like these are helpful, because it gives designers the reason why they should avoid these crimes. Crimes such as vertical text and stretching type are the biggest offenders in type. Only designers who can justify their design can intentionally break these rules.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave me a headache to read August 4, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book had an initial very strong appeal to me, that quickly wore off. While the title of the book seems to suggest that the principle topic of the book is typography, it is not. Rather, it is a manual of modern design ideas. Ellen suggests that her goal is not to encourage readability, but to encourage the reader not to read. I quote "Although many books define the purpose of typography as enhancing the readability of the written word, one of design's most humane functions is, in actuality, to help readers avoid reading." This thinking is quite consistent with the decontructionist philosophical school that she tends to often quote, especially with Jacques Derrida. That is fine and dandy, except that the fact that Ellen is writing something suggests that she hopes that somebody will read what she writes. She is correct about one thing, that this book was not easy of the eyes to read. Her efforts to be different or unconventional made it very tense to get through her book. The book is laden with illustrations and the first impression of the plethora of examples of design that she provides is that they are cute. Subsequent impressions of her examples are less complementary, in that they are a tremendous strain on the reader (user, if you wish) to interpret the message being conveyed. Unfortunately, as she has received many favorable comments on, there will be many budding young graphic designers out there trying to establish their position in the world of graphic design, and are spurred by this book to be bizarre rather than effective in communicating an idea. If one has no ideas or thoughts to communicate, then this book is excellent for you. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic Designer loves this book September 16, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a graphic designer, I love this book. It really goes in depth about type vs. font and what not to do. It's a very interesting perspective on design.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
If you're into typography, this is the book for you. I love the type crimes part. Beautiful typefaces throughout the whole book.
Published 8 days ago by Andre L. Moraes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition
in new condition, loved the book, still using it even though it's for a class i'm taking. very informative for future use
Published 15 days ago by Kim2014
5.0 out of 5 stars Best way to learn type
The author wrote this book because she felt there was no other book out there like it. If you care to learn about typography, its history and how to use it, this book is a must... Read more
Published 1 month ago by kassandraz
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for practitioners
"Thinking with Type" proved to be just what I was looking for. As someone who has studied graphic design for two years and works both with web and print, I needed a book on type... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peter Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book on type!
Awesome introduction into typography. First volume was great but second volume is even better. Great course book for anyone taking graphic design or typography related courses in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Evan H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, up-to-date guide to typography.
Ellen Lupton's work on this book is clear, defines the terminology associated with typography thoroughly, and offers many helpful examples. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for any typography student
Every time I pick this book up, I can't seem to put it down. It's got lots of great visual examples and utilizes great design.
Published 2 months ago by E
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Flight Typography Book
One of the best typography books I've come across. Informative, comprehensive, and meticulously designed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Emily M
4.0 out of 5 stars Great source of info and inspiration
A good read for a growing designer. I keep this book at my desk still today even though I got it as a requirement in class. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alexander Ramsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
This was a required textbook for my Traditional Typography class at The Art Institute of Austin. I really enjoyed this book, the diagrams are great. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jacquelyn Chastain
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