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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great additions!
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...
Published on October 24, 2010 by Bhirsb

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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave me a headache to read
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...
Published on August 4, 2012 by K. Feucht


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great additions!, October 24, 2010
By 
Bhirsb (Arlington, TX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great handbook, November 2, 2010
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone graphically inclined, November 30, 2010
By 
A. Irvine (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave me a headache to read, August 4, 2012
By 
K. Feucht "OncoDoc" (Puyallup, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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 Amazon.com, 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. Allow your imagination to run wild, defy any convention, and never think about whether your message (if you have one) has been sent to the "other user", i.e., the reader. I can only presume that most "readers" of this book actually never read the book, but only looked at the "pretty" pictures. Her design style has much tension to it. It is crowded, busy, disorganized. The important readable type, such as the announcement of an event, is not immediately obvious, or written quite small and at an obtuse angle, making it a challenge to identify a purpose for the illustration. Deviations from convention rarely are effective at conveying or symbolizing anything, such as when she decides to arbitrarily and occasionally defy the text box of the main text. Perhaps the only value of this book is to suggest that deviations from convention might occasionally improve the efficacy of communication of a message, and for that it received two stars.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy Kindle version, May 19, 2014
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I have bought countless ebook on Amazon, and this is the worst "ebook" ever.
They simply scanned the book, not converting them to ebook format for reading on Kindle or mobile revide.
Worse, I can not download it for reading on my Kindle PC (not compatible).
I gave up reading and will order a paperback version.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Handbook for a Designer’s Starting Point Typography, November 4, 2013
This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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.

I recommend this book not only because of the eye-catching graphic examples but also because of how the text itself represents a visual guide. By using this guide designers can create typefaces, from compositions, and use typographic forms and elements to make the text easier to read.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A lot of words but little substance, November 6, 2011
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
I am truly surprised at the positive reviews. I bought this book based on the reviews but this book was a complete disappointment from the perspective of gaining practical wisdom that can be put into practice. It has a lot of historical and some technical information but little in the way of principles or guidance that applies to actual design. I learned less from this book than from a single chapter on type design in Robin Williams The non-designers Design book that I also bought (thank goodness)
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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
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for practitioners, March 12, 2014
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
"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 which not only provided a theoretical basis but was also practical, explaining how theoretical design decisions could be applied though print software (inDesign in this case) and in on-line media.
I knew a little about type from my studies and practical work but wanted a book to take me beyond the basics maybe to the level of a competent practitioner .
Brim full of examples, there is plenty of inspiration here, and all of the ideas are more than amply illustrated. Infact, the wealth of examples is one of the strengths of the book.
There is a lot out of information there about typography but this book is the most useful I have so far come across.

I liked the extensive examples from many different traditions.
What to look for in typeface design and how the anatomy of type influences the practical use of a typeface are particularly well explained. Layout, paragraph formatting, kerning and tracking and other aspects of spacing are very clearly covered. There are always plenty examples of typefaces shown.
I particularly liked the notes about "type crimes".
The book is beautifully illustrated and designed.Its printed on very nice ( and durable) paper stock. This is a good thing as my copy is in for a hard time as no doubt its going to get plenty of use.
Great value, up-to-date and full of useful stuff for anyone wanting to make a beautiful (or just plain workman-like) job of type in print or on screen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Typography I, June 7, 2013
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This review is from: Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Paperback)
I had to read this book for my Beginning Typography class at Columbia College Chicago. Going into the class I really knew nothing about typography except for the names of some fonts. Not only does Ellen Lupton do a fantastic job explaining just about everything you've ever wanted, or needed to know about Typography - there are lots of elements discussed that will give you a better understanding of design in general.

This book is not a critique on fonts, nor is it a book on how to design them. While this book explains what a font is, you learn a lot about what the visual representation of a word is comprised of (text) and how to use these representations (text) in the various ways in design, and how they have been used in the past.

After reading this book you should be familiar with almost all of the typographer's jargon (terms, vocal), and you will have a better understanding of how to organize text in a design.
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