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Thinking with Type: A Primer for Designers: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students [Paperback]

by Ellen Lupton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)


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There is a newer edition of this item:
Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students 4.6 out of 5 stars (87)
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Book Description

September 2, 2004 1568984480 978-1568984483
The organization of letters on a blank sheet -- or screen -- is the most basic challenge facing anyone who practices design. What type of font to use? How big? How should those letters, words, and paragraphs be aligned, spaced, ordered, shaped, and otherwise manipulated? In this groundbreaking new primer, leading design educator and historian Ellen Lupton provides clear and concise guidance for anyone learning or brushing up on their typographic skills.
Thinking with Type is divided into three sections: letter, text, and grid. Each section begins with an easy-to-grasp essay that reviews historical, technological, and theoretical concepts, and is then followed by a set of practical exercises that bring the material covered to life. Sections conclude with examples of work by leading practitioners that demonstrate creative possibilities (along with some classic no-no's to avoid).


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)

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 (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,183 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
119 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed book 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the lost 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
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Clear, and Logical 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for general typography lessons and good read 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Add to your bookshelf you typophile!
Great book on typography, it's history, and use. Ellen is well versed in the practice of typography and explores more than just the technical aspect of it's use — she delves into... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jeff Cales
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
serves its purpose for my class, got here in a timely manner and wasn't beat up at all like most used books.
Published 7 months ago by Rachelle toms
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Great book for any graphic designer! Great investment! If your looking to improve your knowledge of design, get this book!
Published 9 months ago by Jordan Michael Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars the book is protect will, I love it.
I think this book has many basic knowledge I need. I am new in this field, and I hope I can own the firm foundation, so I choose it.
Published 14 months ago by Nanxi Lu
4.0 out of 5 stars bought for a course
has a lot of notable information and good for learning about typography and basics for graphic designers that really helps in the learning process
Published 14 months ago by C.J. Warrington
5.0 out of 5 stars love it.
It's a book filled with magic and wonder...and ideas. If you've hit a creative wall, open this book to any page and just read...it'll come to you.
Published 17 months ago by lpedreros
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Resource
This book is amazing - from the eye-catching graphics to the wide range of fonts to the valuable information presented within the well-formatted pages. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Hannah Beasley
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Cheaper than at the college bookstore
Bought this for a typography class, seems to be in great condition and full of interesting design perspectives. Read more
Published 24 months ago by The Paperback Pursuer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book :D
Definably one of the most useful book that introduces individuals who know nothing about type. To the stem and to the serifs , it describes them very well and also some exercises... Read more
Published on September 26, 2010 by dragon123262
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Fast
I ordered this item on Wednesday evening via standard ground service, and it arrived on Friday - a full week early. I don't think I've ever had such speedy service. Read more
Published on September 4, 2010 by APHess
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