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Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design Paperback – November 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy Samara is a graphic designer based in New York City, where he divides his time between teaching, writing, lecturing, and freelance consulting through STIM Visual Communication. His 18-year career in branding and information design has explored projects in print, packaging, environments, user interface design, and animation. He has been a senior art director at Ruder Finn, New York's largest public relations firm, and senior art director at Pettistudio, a small multidisciplinary design firm. Before relocating to Manhattan, he was principal of Physiologic in Syracuse, located in upstate New York. In 1990, he graduated a Trustee Scholar from the Graphic Design program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Mr. Samara is a faculty member at New York's School of Visual Arts, New York University, Purchase College/SUNY, and The New School, and has published six books on design and typography, all through Rockport Publishers: Making and Breaking the Grid; Typography Workbook; Publication Design Workbook; Type Style Finder; Design Elements; and, most recently, Design Evolution, released in January 2008. Mr. Samara and his partner live in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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Product Details

  • Series: Workbook
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers; Revised edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592533019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592533015
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger C. Parker on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Few books share the cadre of enthusiastic readers that Robert Bringhurst created with his Elements of Typographic Style.

But, Timothy Samara's Typography Workbook comes close, and, in some ways, is equally useful. (The two books complement each other quite well).

Samara manages to combine the technical with the inspirational. His tutorials on typeface design and layout are compellingly written and informative, but where the Typography Workbook realkly shines is the glorious color reproductions of type in use. Nothing communicates like color illustrations, and the Typographic Workbook contains hundreds of samples.

The Typography Workbook is an ideal choice for student or faculty alike. Text has been concisely edited, permitting large visuals to illustrate the points being made, as well as alternative approaches. Use it as an introductory text, a practical guide next to your computer, or for inspiration when needed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please be careful about purchasing this as a kindle book. Even if you view it in the cloud or from your desktop, the formatting of the book is not the same as the printed one. This is especially important because the formatting of a typography book is part of the learning process. They have examples of text in the book that are purposefully formatted a certain way so you can compare the leading, kerning, wordspace, indents, hyphenations, rag, justification, and so on. These examples proved useless in the ebook version because the formatting is all the same. I wish they would fix this, because a huge part of the book is to visually see the differences so you can learn what to do and what not to do. Disappointed, and will be buying the physical version instead. Not a happy customer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good overview of typography in everyday situations, as a how-to and as shown by example. Many of the examples are in a style I don't personally like (I'm a traditionalist by nature and modern typography often borders on the chaotic in my opinion) but as a designer seeing what's being done out there is a necessity. This book is more than just a typographic showcase of current thought and work - it presents sound principles that underscore what's presented.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a textbook for the typography class I am taking. Although visually beautiful to look at and containing some really great information, the eye strain this book induces is a problem for me, and I'm not the only one in class to say so. Much of the text is set in 8 point type or less--very small--and those parts where the type is orange on black, blue on black, or grey on white are very difficult to read. I can only read this book in strong light, early in the day when my eyes are fresh. They state in the book that type should be easy to read, but the authors paid more attention to the beauty of the layout than they did to whether it was readable without a magnifying glass.
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I'm a graphic design student. I chose this book because I wanted projects and exercises to work on. I read the entire first half and skimmed the second half. I found zero projects or exercises. I found a huge number of beautiful, high quality design examples from actual working firms. Though in my opinion the modernist aesthetic is heavily overrepresented.

The typographic theory in the first half is helpful to understand the basic principles of how our ability to read text is affected by size, spacing, etc. Ironically, most of the text in the book is set very small and is difficult to read.

There is no discussion of the history and classification of type.

I would title the book "A sexy picture book of modernist graphic design: with superfine critical theory and analysis"

I'm still a student, but I suspect that other styles besides this modernism are still in demand. Try looking at the packaging in a natural foods market, go to a pub, look at wedding invitations, or look at book covers, everything from children's books to mystery novels. I doubt what you see will look much like what's in here. I believe there's a market for this style, too, but I think this book is way too narrowly dedicated to it.

If you want a more practical, broad-based book. I recommend Exploring Typography (Design Exploration Series) It has a catalog of historically important typefaces, many still in use, as well as exercises, and it's much more readable (no magnifying glass required).
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Format: Paperback
I spend most of my time designing new websites for my clients and occasionally I will design a print piece here and there. Before I read this book I used to stare at a blank page I'd be wondering where on earth do I begin to "Design"? This book has helped me make informed decisions about all manner of the design process. Out of all the graphic design books out there, this is the one that I found is the best introduction to designing and layout. It has just the right amount of detail. Other books can be far too simple or vague. Attaining real solid design facts that I can take to the drawing board is my primary concern and this book delivers. I now have a new found appreciation for the white space in a page and know that it's one key piece to the design puzzle. I gained a clear understanding of how to optimise my paragraphs on a page so they're readable and work aesthetically too. I would never have thought about the aesthetic aspect of a basic paragraph while designing. I now know how to choose the right layout for a paragraph while designing in photoshop or Dreamweaver. Decisions about the letter spacing, spacing between sentences etc are all covered here. Most graphic design books preach about good design without specifying the real details so you can improve. This book is different. It's laid out in logical order with each new concept building on the previous one. Step by step you'll learn how to design every aspect of your project.

You'll learn how to dynamically break up space on your page. How to place your headings and paragraphs. If you want to start making informed design decisions, rather than just plonking something down till it "looks right", then get this book. As a designer, it's our job to communicate an emotion, thought or idea when our audience looks at our work.
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