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Thinking with Type: A Primer for Designers: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students Paperback – September 2, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1568984483 ISBN-10: 1568984480

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (September 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568984480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568984483
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...written with warmth and clarity...destined to become an essential part of many typographers' and designers' librairies." -- Print, April 2005

"If you've ever wondered why you 'instinctively' buy one cake mix over the other, find out here." -- Florida Inside Out, April 2005

"dense enough to cover all vital type subjects...condensed enough for easy referencing." -- Step Inside Design, Dec. 2004

...worthy of adding to your library; it's essential if you salivate when you look at well-designed and well-chosen type. -- Technical Communication, August 2005

"If you've ever wondered why you 'instinctively' buy one cake mix over the other, find out here." --Florida Inside Out, 4/2005

"Ellen Lupton, one of America's best-known design educators, is director of the design program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, as well as curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt in New York. The author of several books, Lupton... use(s) her latest, Thinking With Type as a primer for her students." -- Alan G. Brake --Azure, January 2005

"Ellen Lupton, one of Americas best-known design educators, is director of the design program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, as well as curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt in New York. The author of several books, Lupton... use(s) her latest, Thinking With Type as a primer for her students." -- Alan G. Brake (January, 2005) --Azure

Review

"Worthy of adding to your library; it's essential if you salivate when you look at well-designed and well-chosen type."

"Design isnt just about how things look, the answer to a design challenge is more about discovering why certain things work. In steering projects toward visual solutions that deliver clear messages, we have to look at the very building blocks of design. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, - Students aims to get at the heart of this issue." -- Brian E. Young (March 2, 2009)

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

It pairs so well with the overview and examples from Lupton's book.
reader and maker
I think you'll learn MANY things from this book, but you'll still need to get nother one to fill in the gaps.
Bernardo Margulis
This is a great book for anyone studying graphic design and typography.
Katie J. Tompkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 124 people found the following review helpful By reader and maker on May 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a well-structured and well-written text with refreshing examples from a wide range of designers. These examples reinforce the concept that successful design and typography come from critical thinking and that there is no one style or approach that is "correct."

I plan to require this book in the undergraduate typography class I teach, but because it is accessible even to a novice, I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in type. One of the strengths of the book is its succinctness, but that may be one flaw as well. When a book is so well done, you want more... (Fortunately there is a website which does have supporting materials for those who want more.) Also if you want a meaty book on the specifics of type, then you should also get Robert Bringhurst's phenomenal book "The Elements of Typographic Style." It pairs so well with the overview and examples from Lupton's book.

It is a terrific value and well-produced.
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182 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth M on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Personally, this has probably been the most influental design book that I own. I felt like I was a better designer after having read half of it, without once touching my mac. i just knew that what I had absorbed was going to come out in my work, and it did. The book takes an overview look at design, and speaks in plain english about many things that I've heard or dealt with. But catagorizes stuff and explains things in a fluid manner so that the different bits of information come together and make sense. It is good for the novice and the struggling self taught. Full of great examples. It's too elementary for the serious designer. But for someone who did not go to Design School, but now works with design, its the perfect basic "education in a book".
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Shawna Forester on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book and some of the other books from the Design Briefs series, have become an integral part of my working resource library. Ellen Lupton's book has been one that I have used over and over again. I often reference it when I am faced with a blank page that I am having a hard time laying out.

The section on typography, the largest section of the book, was a very interesting read. I enjoyed learning about the history of printing and typography. Beginning designers will appreciate the categorizing of typefaces. This leads into the discussion of electronic typesetting and the limitations and challenges that has created for designers.

Lupton's book shed a lot of light on different strategies for organizing type, graphics, and pictures on my own layouts. Unlike many other books on graphic design, Lupton's book was down-to-earth and was easy for a non-designer (like myself) to understand. It used some meaningful practical examples, instead of relying on art school projects that have limited real-life applications.

The section on grids was one of the most easy to understand that I have ever come across. It also gave many examples of grids that can be incorporated for page layout. Lupton also gave a decent low-level overview on the golden section, but she did not give enough of examples of how the golden section can be used as a more flexible grid.

One of my favourite parts of her book is the section on proofreading where she has one of the best proofreader's marking charts that I have ever seen. I have used this resource on complex projects like annual reports with agency graphic designers. No more second-guessing edits, Lupton's list captures it all.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Roger C. Parker on June 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the author of Looking Good in Print: A Guide to Basic Design for Desktop Publishing, I approach design and type books with high expectations.

I judge books on not only the amount of information they communicate, but also the accessibility of the information, the clarity of the visuals, the design of the pages, and--last, but not least--the price.

Ellen Luppon's Thinking With Type scores well on all standards. It's also one of the few books that has important things to say about online type.

At its remably low price, you can't buy a more useful book for learning from the past and setting computer-based type on the basis of what others have done previously.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jason Walley on May 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is possibly the best design education text I've seen. Everything is kept simple, and clear. Ellen Lupton's categorizing of typeface styles, for example, is logical and all inclusive, yet still a simple breakdown of the vast variety of typefaces. She is easier to understand than Robert Bringhurst in "The Elements of Typographic Style," something crucial to any budding designer. This book will serve you well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bernardo Margulis on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got this book because it's a requirement for my Typography class. I enjoy reading it greatly and I've learned many things from it. I think it's an excellent read if you're just interested in typography even if you're not interested in type setting (the book is filled with interesting facts).

The only reason I gave it four stars is because the book is meant to be a typography class book and I feel it's a bit too vague for that. I think you'll learn MANY things from this book, but you'll still need to get nother one to fill in the gaps. But as an introductory book I think it's awesome (I also got Stop Stealing Sheep and Learn how Type Works, which is also an introductory book, they are pretty much at the same level of depth).
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