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Letter Forms
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Letter Forms [Hardcover]

Stanley Morison
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1968
To understand the language and development of type is to know its history. Letter Forms is a collection of essays by and about Stanley Morison, adviser to Monotype, and the greatest type historian of our time. ... For the true student of typography and the fine art of distinguishing "between things that differ," the historical insights of Letter Forms will be a source of inspiration and a glimpse into the mind of one of the most gifted typography scholars of this century.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: TBS The Book Service Ltd (October 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0370001672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370001678
  • Package Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,253,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A history of histories July 14, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stanley Morison is always a pleasure to read. He had enormous influence on twentieth centry type founding, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of type. It's a fascinating subject, partly because type design, more than just about any other art, is vividly aware of its own past, and is inextricably bound up with commerce.

Up to about p.38, this book keeps the promise of its title, the search for a "scientific" classification system (a teeth-gritting misuse of the word). It discusses the history of letter forms as they appeared in cast type. The second essay also discusses one strand in the tapestry of calligraphy's history.

After that point, however, Morison seems to switch gears. Gradually at first, he mentions earlier commentators on typography. By the end of the first essay, the topic is wholly the history of such commentaries, making this a history of typographic histories. It's a great starting point for someone about to embark on an academic study, but of limited use to the practicing typographer.

It's brief, though, and still interesting to any reader wanting to know more about the typography's history. It just doesn't say a lot about the letter forms themselves.

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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book to gain solid knowledge. September 5, 2000
At first there were Phonecian and Greek alphabets, then Roman inscriptions. Letterforms evolved over thousands of years. Buy this book, you will learn how to study letterforms historically.
Table of Contents
Introductory Note
Recollections of Stanley Morison
On the Classification of Typographical Variations
On some Italian Scripts of the XV and XVI Centuries
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