Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Shop the new tech.book(store)
New! Introducing the tech.book(store), a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry.
> Shop now
Cees W. de Jong is a designer and publisher based in Laren, the Netherlands. He has published numerous books on design, architecture and art, and is now working as a design/publishing consultant and author. He has also published many books on graphic design. Alston W. Purvis is professor of the visual arts division of the School of Arts at Boston University, USA. He is also the author on many books on graphic design. Jan Tholenaar is collector of the printed letter in all various incarnations through exquisite design catalogs and specimen books. He lives in Amsterdam.
More About the Authors
Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Let us consider the letter A. We must take the simple, three-lined capital A, because the lowercase a is not only complicated by curvy lines but it also comes in two distinct popular forms, one with a straight line at the right of the loop and one in which the line curves over the loop like an umbrella. So, I say, consider the A. Three straight lines, two leaning together up to a point, and one horizontal connecting their midsections. This is the Platonic A, the essence, and you'd know it anywhere. But if you start looking at the huge number of examples of A (and every other letter) in _Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume I, 1628-1900_ (Taschen), you may get the idea that that exemplar A can't really stand for much because there are too many variables. There are some letters A that have no straight lines (or are made up of flowers, or cartoons of heads), there are plenty that have no pointy top, there are lots that have more than three lines to them (it would take 20th century fonts to produce letters A with less than three lines), and so on. The book is edited by Cees W. de Jong, and it features examples of metal type specimens from the collection of the late Jan Tholenaar. Both these authors have written essays to provide a little context, but it is very little, compared to the 250 pages of print specimens, handsomely laid out in a big format on rich paper, between covers of canvas with the title and design stamped into it. This is a handsome object throughout.
Despite the subtitle, _Type_ is not really a history of type. It's bulk consists of beautifully reproduced pages of print catalogues from the specimen books Jan Tholenaar used to collect, and he concentrated on ones from the Victorian age.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?