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Typographic Systems of Design Paperback – May 3, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1568986876 ISBN-10: 1568986874 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

Typographic Systems of Design + Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students + Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (May 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568986874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568986876
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautiful little book on the rules for organizing type in graphic design. While the grid system is undoubtedly the author's favorite, Elam expertly reveals the potential that the other systems (rarely seen in print or on-screen work these days) can have in enabling visual solutions for the graphic designer. -- Creative Review, June 2007

"To be a good designer, you must be creative. But because all design is based on structural systems, it's also important to factor systemic thinking into your work. . . . Elam describes a structural system that can be broken down into eight main categories. Each chapter of Typographic Systems tackles one of these topics, providing an in-depth explanation of the system as well as visual examplescomplete with transparent diagrams you can place over imagesto aid comprehension." --STEP Inside Design, May, 2007

About the Author

Kimberly Elam is chairperson of the Graphic and Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Her books Geometry of Design and Grid Systems have become standard reference works for students and practicing designers.

More About the Author

Kimberly Elam is chairperson of the Graphic and Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Barrett on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book examines interesting ideas about alternative type layout and design. It is missing an introductory chapter that examines the traditional grid system and offers guidelines about how to break the rules, but for experienced designers this book offers a solid argument on breaking the grid, backed up with good historical references on how the grid has been broken in the past. It would be nice if Elam had addressed the reasons behind why designers are looking for alternative ways to work with type. This is strictly a reference book, with little or no discussion on the conceptual ideas behind breaking the grid. Tons of interesting illustrations and historic layouts back up the samples, also a nice touch, the tissue overlays that "map" out the different strategies. Overall, a good book for your typographic library and an excellent student reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mesch on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this oddly for my college class: Adobe InDesign. I was confused to not be getting an InDesign Manual. Ordered it anyways (As if I had a choice..) got here last week, and skimmed through, read the intro, and have read the first chapter for the assignment so far. It is very interesting. I love the examples in the text. This isn't an ordinary textbook with endless footnotes, and stupid photos of people trying to engage you in the subject. It's professional. It's clean. It's simple. Kimberly Elam wasn't trying to fill a textbook with pointless information we don't need. She filled the book with 7 subjects, and kept them all in their own chapter (not unit). I feel like I'm been taken seriously.

Being a Graphic Design Major (Undergrad, Sophomore at Colorado Mesa University) I do believe that this is one of those books I will hold on to and keep referring back to for ideas, and more information on a concept I will be working on. I read this far and I have put the examples to life in my own work. My professors are impressed.

If you need this for school, don't drop the course; The book is really interesting. If you're a professional Graphic Artist perhaps you need to brush up on your typography skills or need more ideas. This one has plenty of it.

My name is Kevin Mesch
Thanks for reading. Look for my other reviews on here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brent G. on October 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On one hand, this book offers great examples of different methods for laying out type on a page. On the other hand however, this book reads similarly to a classroom textbook and beyond the sample images with tracing paper overlays (Very nice touch).

This book is a quick read and you may come away from it with something, then again, maybe not. I would suggest this book more-so to intro design students looking for good pictorial examples of methods for laying type on a page than I would to more advanced designers, But then again, I have referenced back to this book once or twice in search of some inspiration.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gimmeadog on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are many typography and design books out there - but this book is rare in that it actually SHOWS whats its talking about. After all we are in a visual field, how much sense does it make to not get a grasp on how this stuff actually looks. As a graphic design student, this is really the only book my teacher assigned that i actually care at all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jana E Bailey on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Graphic Design student and I've found this book to be an excellent purchase. The book is informational and backs up the information with very good examples and guidelines to achieve the design examples presented.
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By Ms. Jo on January 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a graphics designer, this is a "must have" for your library. It breaks down font layout as an element to your composition.
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Format: Paperback
This was a remarkable book. With examples after examples of how to dynamically utilize text in your design. Allowing typesetters and designers to remain legible, unique and informative. It shatters conventional methods of format by fearlessly venturing into newer ones. It's a book I recommend to anyone dealing with type and design.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I feel like most Architectural graphic books are simply offensive because:
1. Architects have a lot to say
2. Architects don't know how to do graphics
3. Architects know how to manipulate space and form, but for some reason don't know how to do that with type on paper.

There is most definitely an art to doing graphic process books and this is the step by step guide to teaching people how to do it right.

Remember negative space people!

Sometimes the most powerful messages are the ones that are between the lines.
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