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on May 21, 2005
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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on April 8, 2005
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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on October 29, 2006
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. In fact, a lot of the designers and account reps who have used it with me consider it to be a time (and money) saver.

This book is probably too basic for seasoned designers, but if you just bought a copy of InDesign, or you're working in a corporate communications department and expected to create some basic layouts, you will take away a lot of good ideas and principles from this book. It covers off on many of the principles of good design without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
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on June 29, 2005
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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on May 14, 2006
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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on December 3, 2005
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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I was inspired by some of the samples of type usage in the book from the first few pages. Ellen Lupton, the author of "Design Culture Now", came up with a book to fill a void where it was much needed. It is hard not to encounter useful elements in it to both, help you enhance existing designs or tackle new territory.

The only downside of the book, and the reason I give it 4.5 and not 5 stars, is that the layout doesn't make it particularly easy to read and follow. Therefore it ends up being a book that you resort to for visual not textual queues of where you are, and for ideas rather than specific content. At least it was that way for me. Still, the number of visual ideas it carries makes it worth your while.
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on February 6, 2007
this is a great little book with some good insights and interesting view points written in an easy to understand manner. i would call this more of a brief history of design/printed type than really a stand-alone piece, its more of a gloss-over to give you a good starting point to look into other more in-depth books.

i definitely recommend it, but dont expect it to answer much on its own.
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on April 22, 2006
I bought this book because other customers loved it and because it was not expensive. It was so much better than I expected. I was expecting to pick it up and just visually browse then leave it for later but read all the content the first day I had it -even reread parts incase I missed anything. I plan to use this with 17-18year olds within a design programme - as it is consise yet interesting. So: book is great value for money, practical advise offered is clearly presented and taught to the reader through its design! Visual content and extra information is compelling/quirky/humourous/relevant, overview of typographic evolution intereting and fonts useful. Loved the material used for the tables!....check it out.
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on January 4, 2006
This book is a must for designers or anyone else who works with type. It shows you how to use type creatively to convey messages, clean up your layouts, and make for a more attractive piece. I wish I'd read this book a year ago. I can't stand to look at some of my older designs now that I know exactly what I did wrong.
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