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Pleasant update to typography "textbook"
on October 17, 2011
Since this book is now in its 5th edition, it is very well known in the typography community. It is put to good use as a textbook for college classes teaching typography. It is a soup-to-nuts encyclopedia of useful material from history of writing and printing development to readability and explanation of commonly known typographic design and use theories.
What I had hoped for in this newest update was more coverage on the newest material brought about since the digital era began. I would have hoped for a much more complete description of opentype features and possibilities and more than just a cursory mentioning of web type (Webtype has become the biggest discussion maker at type conferences since opentype. I realize that book production is a slow process and some of the later material might have been missed due to production deadlines. There is still a sizable hunk that was known and available early enough to have been included in this edition, particularly OpenType.
Digital--mostly vector based type, has caused a huge burst of type design production and the birth of numerous small foundries around the world. There is more variety and competition out there now than at any time in history. This newest 5th edition barely gives it a nod even though it has been going on since the 1990s or before. Rob Carter, et al, still presents the traditional ways of looking at and categorizing type, which is fine, but does not add much to describe happenings in recent activity-filled decades.
I was hoping for more print space on this millennium's version of "The New Typography" given that the Tschichold variety is hardly Neue any more.
Don't get me wrong, this is a worthwhile book for educators to select for their courses. It just needs a bit of a prodding to include more current material