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Type Matters! Leather Bound – May 1, 2012
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A solid addition to the field of introductory texts on the subject of typography. I Love Typography
In short, Type Matters is an indispensible guide to the basics of typography that no budding graphic designer should be without. The Point
This book is perfectly positioned to ease the newbie into the world of typography... it is a learner's bible. Seattle Post Intelligencer
This book is pleasing to the touch, the nose, the eye, and when actually read, the hungry mind. Blog Critics
These may be simple tips, but they could change the way the world reads the writing you want to present. Columbus Dispatch
About the Author
BEN CASEY is Creative Director of The Chase design consultancy and Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Central Lancashire.
Top Customer Reviews
_Type Matters!_ is well organized. The first part, "Background," gives a three-page history of type design, and gives some basic terminology. You may have been told to pay attention to every jot and tittle, and while jot can mean the tiniest part of writing or the least detail, a tittle in typography is specific: it is the dot above the i or j. Here is also a bright explanation of why some type faces of the same point size (basically the maximum vertical dimension of letters in a font) look bigger, although they are not. The second part is "Setting headlines and display type." There is a hilarious example of two contrasting letterheads, one for a financial advisor, and one for Rocco the Clown. They are both set in Copperplate Gothic BT and then in Jabberwub. I don't have to tell you anything but the names of the typefaces. The shapes of the letters should not imply that you would be amused by your financial advisor, nor that you would take your clown seriously. By far the longest part of the book is the third part, "Text setting," the basics for the regular readable page (rather than headings or display types). There are loads of examples here, including a particular peeve of mine, white letters on black background; this is often bad on the page and worse on a web page, but it happens all the time. Williams shows how typefaces that are nicely legible black-on-white despite (or due to) thin strokes and fine serifs can require active concentration to read when they are white-on-black. There's nothing wrong with a little white-on-black, and an example he shows using the sans serif, uniform stroke News Gothic Demi BT, is fully legible. You can learn here the considerations required in using raised or dropped capital letters in beginning paragraphs, the difference between capitals and small capitals, the use of dashes (the shorter nut dash and the longer mutton dash), different ways of indicating paragraphs, and much more.
There are two pages on those desiderata, legibility and readability. They are not the same thing. Legibility is "the clarity of individual characters and how easily they are deciphered." Readability is "the level of comprehension and visual comfort when reading typeset material." There are many examples here of both, emphasizing the great lesson that the type and its arrangement do their best work when they are quiet and do not present the reader with any distraction from the ideas in the words they form. Good type and arrangement, on the page and on the computer screen, help encourage the reader to continue reading, or at least do not discourage continuation. This book is an excellent introductory volume from which I learned a lot; those who want to learn more will do well to study its helpful bibliography and its directory of museums and other organizations that are dedicated to good typography. These may be simple tips, but they could change the way the world reads the writing you want to present.
it's ok like that - each page have a 'rule' and examples of text set to or against the rule
* it would be bad if you only read it digitally - the hard copy is pleasant to hold and flip through
* it's more of a nice object - that will be nice to pick up now and again
* looks cool on your desk
* i'm happy that i've got it - but once again - it's main that it's a nice object more then a text book on the subject.
I had originally wanted to purchase <Just My Type: A Book About Fonts ...> (which has not arrived yet), but in reading the reviews of Just My Type, which is an account of fonts, I encountered numerous recommendations and citations of this one, which is written by a typesetting expert. The story of how the book came to be is pretty interesting.
The book itself talks about different types of situations - say, where you want a tall, skinny swath of text and you wish to avoid what they call 'rivers' - those strips of white that develop as spaces between words as they pile up one atop the other. There's a way to tweak the font to change that. He has examples of what fonts work for what application. For example, if you have a patch of text in a fairly small size, you don't want to use something like Chilada (hint: it works well for Southwest Food-themed applications) and would do better to stick with Times New Roman or Tahoma.
Well, it was fascinating for me. But then I do some of my own graphic design and formatting, and it's just interesting to read. For example, do you know where the terms 'upper case' and 'lower case' come from? Well, the capital letters ('upper case') type (the pieces set into the press) were generally kept on a top shelf and the 'lower case' ones were kept on a lower shelf.
Mr. Williams writes well and with humor. The illustrations are very good, and even if you don't plan to set up a printing press or design books, you may very well enjoy this book and read it just for the fun of it.