Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
An Essay on Typography has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by AEIM
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: In this copy, all pages and cover are intact. There are no notes or highlights. The spine is undamaged. Minimal shelf, edge and corner wear. Ships directly from Amazon warehouse. Enjoy!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

An Essay on Typography Paperback – September 8, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.95
$4.98 $1.26

Ace the ACT.
Wiley Architecture, Construction, & Design Sale
Save up to 40% on select architecture, construction, and design guides during August. Learn more.
$11.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • An Essay on Typography
  • +
  • The Elements of Typographic Style: Version 4.0: 20th Anniversary Edition
Total price: $38.85
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

It deals with technical difficulties, the history and evolution of letters, the craft of typography, type design and manufacturing, even orthography, and is written with clarity, humility, and a touch of humor. --Paul Rand, The New York Times Book Review
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; Reprint edition (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879239506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879239503
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This multi-faceted book is a gem. It was written in a period when Industrialism was increasingly establishing itself over Craftsmanship. Gill starts by analyzing the clash between these two worlds, then goes on to situate typography in this melee. Most of the book concerns Gill's views on correct typography, some of which seem quirky. Gill is unique: his forward style and searing insight are inspiring and refreshing, even after six decades. The last section of the book is Gill's proposal to convert written English into phonetic writing, avoiding spelling/pronunciation inconsistencies and increasing efficiency. It makes great sense - typical Gill
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I noticed few reviews for this book, so it had to be said. At once a historical view of typography as well as universal ideals still applicable to modern design. Eric Gill was a genius, and his timeless typefaces were the only window I knew him through before I read this book. This is the sort of book that you finish and then go look for more books like it; my favorite kind.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This essay on typography is actually an essay on far more. It goes well with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, in its nostalgia for the 'humane' individual craftsman over the commerce and industry. Gill comes back, again and again, to question the proper places of mass production and handwork with respect to each other. He was an idealistic, but still realized that industry was here to stay - it could not (and still can not) simply be wished away. The real goal is "an industrialism ... [with] many noble and admirable features."
Gill uses typography and printing as the vehicle for his social thoughts, and offers a good bit of advice on typography throughout. He discusses letter forms as ethetic, practical, and historical objects - especially interesting from a man who made so much typographic history himself.
I never did quite work my way through all of his social arguments, however. He seems to hold "engineers" as the opponents of art and perhaps creativity. I known that many engineers then and now lack training in esthetics and visual presentation. Anyone who's seen the Brooklyn Bridge or Eiffel Tower knows, however, that engineering is also a creative act. Gill ridiculed the practice of one worker designing a font, a second preparing it for transfer to metal, another cutting the master tools for each letter, and so on. I have to agree, the assembly line mentality is not suited to all tasks, especially when each product is as unique as a letter form. Still, among all arts, printing is perhaps the one most typified by team effort and division of labor. It would be a very rare individual who could create a text worth reading, create the font in which it is presented, set the type and run the press, and carry out all the other tasks needed to create a bound book.
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Eric Gill was one of the greatest experts in typography, printing and book design that the 20th century produced, and the typefaces that he designed -- Gill Sans, Joanna, Perpetua -- are still in common use, and are among the most successful of all typefaces. The book itself is set in Joanna, and gives a very pleasing appearance. I’m not fond of Gill Sans myself, but that just reflects a general dislike of sansserif typefaces (apart from Optima) on paper, though they work very well on the computer screen and Underground stations. So a short book in which Gill explained his general view of printing and book product is very welcome.

He was much concerned with the state of craftsmanship in any era of increasing mechanization. He believed that no matter how dehumanizing a modern job in a factory might be a worker would still go home and create things: “in his spare time he will make something, if only a window box flower garden.” In several places he refers to the big changes that he saw between the state of industry in 1930 and in 1936: given the enormous increase in mechanization that has happened since 1936 one can only wonder what he would think of the state of book production today.

Like many experts in book design, but unlike most modern publishers, Gill preferred a ragged right-hand edge to the page, as it allows better spacing between words than one can have with justified margins. Nearly all of the book is printed with unjustified lines, but on pages 88 and 89, in a section entitled The Procrustean bed, the lines are justified. Why this exception? Because this is where he discussed why unjustified lines were better.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't quite know how to describe this book, except to say this:
I read this the first time about 20 years ago, and then gave it away, and recently purchased another copy. I have frequently remembered what I took from Eric Gill: the idea of doing everything with the intent of doing it well, and that the frame of the picture (or the typeface of the document, or a careful paint job in a room) --the shape of the communication -- can be as important as the communication itself.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite the thing that are not much associated with typography in this book . Eric Gill is writing so many thing that are happening today like if he knew. A historical book about typography by the english master of his era.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

An Essay on Typography
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: An Essay on Typography

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: typography