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Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering Hardcover – September 10, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Spencerian Handwriting: The Complete Collection of Theory and Practical Workbooks for Perfect Cursive and Hand Lettering by Platts Roger Spencer
Spencerian Handwriting
The exciting new release from Platts Roger Spencer. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Heller is cochair of the MFA Design Department at the School of Visual Arts and the author of numerous books, including our bestselling Typography Sketchbooks.

Louise Fili is director of Louise Fili Ltd, a New York-based design studio specializing in logo, package, restaurant, and book design. Formerly senior designer for Herb Lubalin, Louise Fili was art director of Pantheon Books from 1978 to 1989, where she designed close to 2000 book jackets. Fili has taught and lectured on graphic design and typography, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale. She is a member of the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and received the medal of lifetime achievement from the AIGA.

Fili is the author of Elegantissima, published by Princeton Architectural Press. She has also written The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Florence and co-authored Italianissimo. With her husband, the design historian Steven Heller, she is co-author of Italian Art Deco, British Modern, Dutch Moderne, Streamline, French Modern, Deco España, German Modern, Design Connoisseur, Counter Culture, Typology, Stylepedia, Euro Deco, Scripts, and Shadow Type.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1St Edition edition (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616892048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616892043
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Graphic artists await with bated breath any new book by Dr. Heller and Ms. Fili... Their books are just exquisitely, knowledgeably compiled worlds of eye candy, vivid history and inspiration.

SHADOW TYPE: CLASSIC THREE-DIMENSIONAL LETTERING is another fabulous gem from these creative people: It is a lavishly illustrated compendium of a kind of treatment given to lettering and type, in the scope of this book, from the Victorian age, through Art Deco/Style Moderne, through Streamline; roughly the period of 1890---1955.

Letterforms are given a bold, three-dimensional quality as if they have been extruded into blocky forms-- the sides of these letters given a realistic shading/modeling--- then shadowed dramatically as if raked from some unseen oblique light source.

Nowadays, 3D softwares can readily create these kinds of letter treatments, but this book chronicles a time when this 3D modeling was done entirely as an illusion created by hand.

As Heller/Fili often do in their books celebrating the best of 20thc letter and poster and ad treatments, SHADOW TYPE is chaptered by how different nations employed the style in their own idiosyncratic way: American, Italian, French, German, British, then by other countries.

Americans my age-- I am 50--- will almost certainly recognize this kind of shadowed 3D lettering from the opening and closing titles of Hollywood movies of the 20thc, most prevalently during the 1930's and 1940's; something about the long dramatic shadows of this treatment is especially well-suited to the Film Noir genre.

SHADOW TYPE is a cornucopia of inspiration for modern graphic artists, designers, illustrators and signpainters...
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By Robin on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A treat for type fans with page after page of three-dimensional lettering. This is the real thing too, not that tacky offset by a few points stuff that any pc can do. The contents come from the US, Italy, France, Germany and Britain as actual printed samples or type book pages.

Nicely Heller and Fili have extended their selection beyond printed matter by including lettering from shop fronts, packaging and movie credits. Actually this last selection could well be another book for Heller: Hollywood credit types. Three-dimensional type was very popular for titles and credits from the thirties to the fifties. The book has thirty-six examples, unfortunately only over three spreads, which make them slightly too small to appreciate the beauty of this type style.

Each page shows type that is worth studying. On page sixty-five a 1938 advertisement for Mitten's Display Lettering, a stick-on three dimensional type for exhibition stands, is cleverly revealed by lighting the letters at a low angle and creating a black shadow. Page forty-seven shows a 1910 Fulton Printing Outfit for children and produced by an outfit that had a hazy awareness of letter frequency: it only has five E's but five Q's, X's and three Z's. Page 237 has a stunning Art Deco book cover with shapes and lettering in 3D. The British chapter shows Stevenson Blake's unusual Shadow Sans, a type which is just a thick shadow, turn over the page and it shows it as colored type with the thick black shadow working beautifully.

The book is well produced using a good matt art paper. All the graphics bleed which nicely creates a sort of type specimen book look. If you are interested in printed ephemera featuring type and shadow styles in particular this is your book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful book. I should have gotten the hard copy, as the spine is very tight on the paperback and some of the visual is cut off in the center of the book. To be clear, this isn't a how-to-letter book, but a collection of stunning hand lettered pieces. So inspiring, and I've turned to it again and again when starting a new piece. I made the piece in the photo by referencing an alphabet in the book. -Made By Marzipan, letterist
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so pleased to have purchased this book. It is full of page after page of inspiring work. It's like a google image search for vintage ephemera, printed and bound - only you get 100% accuracy in your search results! The cover makes it seem like it's all going to be a singular era of shadow type, but inside covers many eras and styles that make use of this. I actually had never noticed so much shadow type in the vintage graphics that i love until I saw many of those examples in this book - like the ubiquitous french credit receipt. If you are inspired by a blast of visual examples (instead of instruction or scientific/detailed histories) you will love this 1-1/2" tome.
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Format: Paperback
I checked this out of the library and was astounded by the fabulous graphics. I could study these shadow letters for hours and hours. I'm not even an artist, I just like vintage style typography and penmanship.
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