~Epub ☪ Just My Type: A Book About Fonts ☦ PDF or E-pub free

~Epub ♁ Just My Type: A Book About Fonts ☸ What s your type Suddenly everyone s obsessed with fonts Whether you re enraged by Ikea s Verdanagate, want to know what the Beach Boys have in common with easy Jet or why it s okay to like Comic Sans, Just My Type will have the answer Learn why using upper case got a New Zealand health worker sacked Refer to Prince in the Tafkap years as a Dingbat that works on many levels Spot where movies get their time periods wrong and don t be duped by fake posters on eBay Simon Garfield meets the people behind the typefaces and along the way learns why some fonts like men are from Mars and some are from Venus From type on the high street and album covers, to the print in our homes and offices, Garfield is the font of all types of knowledge I ll need to look it up when I get home, I guess, but Peter Carey in Theft A Love Story or rather, after he has finished the book says what font the book needs to be printed in Always a bit of a wanker, this goes some way to push Carey into extreme nerd wanker land.Now, not that I can talk I ve just finished and enjoyed a book on fonts and a talking book on fonts which, no matter how beautifully read you would have to say, somewhat misses the point But although I m guilty, in the w I ll need to look it up when I get home, I guess, but Peter Carey in Theft A Love Story or rather, after he has finished the book says what font the book needs to be printed in Always a bit of a wanker, this goes some way to push Carey into extreme nerd wanker land.Now, not that I can talk I ve just finished and enjoyed a book on fonts and a talking book on fonts which, no matter how beautifully read you would have to say, somewhat misses the point But although I m guilty, in the words of Woody Allen, I m guilty with an excuse.I ve become increasingly interested in the stuff we are not meant to notice, but that affects how we see the world The point of a good font and not just point size is that it should be pretty much invisible Not in the sense that you can t see it, legibility is essential, but you shouldn t notice it All the same, there are so many fonts and all quite different from each other Some are quite feminine, others hyper masculine an interesting thing for fonts to be Some like comic sans even have hate sites on the internet devoted to them all know far too much and far too little about fonts And fonts are possibly something very few of us should know anything about at all But, as someone who likes to fall into Fowler s third group of those in his the personality of people with reference to the split infinitive that is, the group who know what they are while not to getting too worked up about them either way I thought this book might be an interesting wee look at fonts, giving just enough information to be getting on with It was all that andInteresting aside I ve learnt recently the word clich is French and an onomatopoeia a word that sounds like what it means It came from printing back in the days when printers arranged letters into a matrix or stereotype if words or phrases were particularly frequent they would be welded together and clich was the sound they made as they were dropped into place Some authorities doubt this is the origin of the word such authorities should be hunted down and punished When a story is this good its truth is quite beside the point.The problem you will have with reading this book which you should do, by the way is that you will start noticing fonts everywhere As someone who gets put out of supermarkets when they start playing crap from the 70s I have to say I have real sympathy with the people discussed in this book who are just as annoyed by misplaced fonts What a crap film set in 1872 and using signs printed in Gill Sans not crafted until 1926 honestly I m just about to finish another book about the use of colour in films like I said, I m a bit obsessed with the stuff people use that we don t notice, but that ultimately affects how and what we see I m really struggling to watch anything at the moment without wondering what impact the choice of colour pallet says This stuff is utterly and endlessly fascinating to me I worry that knowing a little about this stuff will make meboring than I already am and make me think I knowthan I really do So much of this stuff is about having a good eye and I m very much unsure that I have such an eye But the way fonts and colours affect our understanding of texts is something in the realm of the truth that likes to hide in plain sight The best stories in this book are literally about the things you see all the time, but don t really notice Like the ampersand You know, this thing I would never have guessed that was based on a crunched up E and T And of course, et is Latin for And all makes sense when you re told But I didn t know that the ampersand is often the most beautiful character in a font Which then brings us to the question, what is a character This is actually really interesting Obviously all the letters are in both upper and lower case but what about, say, or And how to do you say Is it at Or is it the ampersat No, I m not making this up.Then there is also handgloves or Hamburgefonts To see if a font will work there are a number of letters you need to really see h, g, a and s being among those Typing handgloves and seeing how the letters look together at various point sizes being as good a way of doing this as any DID YOU KNOW A WOMAN WAS SACKED FROM HER JOB FOR TYPING AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS People said she was screaming at them you see, you don t need to be an Australian novelist to be a wanker.Did you know that a company set up to combat piracy picked a pirated font for their corporate identity I kid you not There is a lovely distinction made in this book between legibility and readability I would have thought both would be pretty much the same thing but just because you can read some lettering at 40 paces doesn t for a minute mean you would like to read War and Peace written in it This was a lovely book I think it would have been better as a book rather than an audio book I assume the printed version has lots of examples of the typefaces and so I might track it down eventually to see and buy it is just the sort of book that would be a good kind of reference Years ago I read an article by Stephen J did you know J was the last letter added to the alphabet Gould where he took me on one of his lovely little trips around a topic of quite esoteric interest of which he was something of a god the topic this time being pangrams like the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog It is a very long time since I read this article, couldn t tell you which of his books of essays it was from, but I think I remember Gould was a bit obsessed with getting a pangram that had fewer repeat letters than the fox one there are four Os for instance Still have a look at this example of life imitating pangram Peter Carey s Theft A NOTE ON THE TYPEThis book was set in Janson, a typeface long thought to have been made by the Duchman Anton Janson, who was a practicing type founder in Leipzig during the years 1668 1687 However, it has been conclusively demonstrated that this face is actually the work of Nicholas Kis 1650 1701 , a Hungarian, who most probably learned his trade from the master Dutch type founder Dirk Voskens The type is an excellent example of the influential and sturdy Dutch types that prevailed in England up to the time William Caslon 1692 1766 developed his own incomparable designs from them Missed the irony the first time I read this years ago Drowning Feuds Nazis Bestiality Probably not topics you expect to find in a book about fonts Granted, the drowning was of the Doves font its creator threw the matrices and the metal letters into the Thames river instead of bequeathing his perfect font to anyone else after his death And the feuds range the gamut from public backlash over IKEA changing its font from Futura to Verdana to the online movement against Comic Sans the world s worst font, allegedly And detail oriented Nazis de Drowning Feuds Nazis Bestiality Probably not topics you expect to find in a book about fonts Granted, the drowning was of the Doves font its creator threw the matrices and the metal letters into the Thames river instead of bequeathing his perfect font to anyone else after his death And the feuds range the gamut from public backlash over IKEA changing its font from Futura to Verdana to the online movement against Comic Sans the world s worst font, allegedly And detail oriented Nazis declared an official font a form of German gothic before later outlawing it because of its connections to Jewish bankers and printers.But a dog did get buggered, good and proper and not by a font Just My Type is admittedly not a book for everyone However, I love fonts I m one of those rare people who love to see the page in the back of the book that tells what font the book was set in and provides information about its origin I m the type of person who will sit in front of the computer screen for an hour trying out different font types and sizes until I have the perfect lettering for conveying the all important message to my students that they should Go to the library and bring your notebook I can spot Garamond or Courier or Verdana from one hundred paces Yes, I freaking love font Ergo, I really enjoyed Just My Type, although it s not the sort of book I could sit down and read in one sitting Instead I opted to dip in and out periodically while reading other books Garfield writes with humor and knowledge about the history of print and the impact it had and continues to have on the world It s difficult to believe the tedious and time consuming process that goes into creating a font, and equally difficult to believe is how important getting the right font is for daily routines such as the effort that went into selecting a proper font for London s subway system My favorite parts of the book are the fontbreaks that appear between chapters these are very short stories about the origins of some of the world s most notorious or revered fonts Also helpful is that, when mentioning most types, the actual type in the book changes so the reader can see what the type looks like although this isn t done consistently and I would have preferred to see it done throughout If there is a fault with the book, it would be the one I find in most non fiction books some information is repeated ad nauseam and there are occasionally abrupt shifts in topic Other than that, if you re looking for an entertaining and not particularly technical look at fonts, I d recommend giving this a go Oh, said dog was pestered by Eric Gill, creator of Gill Sans And noted ass hat.Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder This book answers such basic questions as What exactly is a typeface What s the difference between a typeface and a font What specific features make them good or bad assuming one can qualify them subjectively in this way Why are there so many And why do people keep designingWhy are some so well liked, whereas others are almost universally mocked and vilified Why are old ones still used today, whereas many newer and carefully designed ones will never bethan historical curios This book answers such basic questions as What exactly is a typeface What s the difference between a typeface and a font What specific features make them good or bad assuming one can qualify them subjectively in this way Why are there so many And why do people keep designingWhy are some so well liked, whereas others are almost universally mocked and vilified Why are old ones still used today, whereas many newer and carefully designed ones will never bethan historical curiosities Simon Garfield knows his subject thoroughly But the great thing is that he presents it so well The book is lavishly endowed with anecdotes, humorous asides, historical details, examples of various typefaces and illustrations depicting their use So what could have been a laborious treatise, of interest exclusively to the specialist, is informative, amusing and highly accessible to the layperson.And yes, it was font while it lasted I m only just on target with my challenge, and I think this is because this is another genre of books that I am not swift at reading I would normally dip into books like this and going at it all in one go wasn t difficult, but I did go a day every now and again where I didn t pick this up I think this is mainly because this topic is linked to my job and after spending all day designing and looking at typefaces, occasionally as much as I love the subject I didn t want to then carry on readin I m only just on target with my challenge, and I think this is because this is another genre of books that I am not swift at reading I would normally dip into books like this and going at it all in one go wasn t difficult, but I did go a day every now and again where I didn t pick this up I think this is mainly because this topic is linked to my job and after spending all day designing and looking at typefaces, occasionally as much as I love the subject I didn t want to then carry on reading about the subject in my downtime.However, this makes me sound like I didn t enjoy the book, when in fact I really enjoyed it Each chapter was the story of a font, or of specific uses of different fonts, and told the stories of Gill Sans, Futura, Optima and Helvetica just to name a few There were some interesting anecdotes, little snippets of history, and some technical information, all told in a relaxed and easy to read way As someone who has studied Typography at degree level, a lot of the content was information I already knew, the history of many famous typefaces and typographers, and news about different faces being used for different work the Verdana Ikea new story, the 2012 Olympic logo and font etc but in most cases went into a little bitdetail, so the stories were still interesting.There were many images of both the faces in use and the typographers at work, and the main bulk of the book itself is set in Sabon and Univers 45 Light Within the publishing details at the beginning of the book, the author explains the typefaces used which I think is lovely This is not done much any and is a real shame as if I like the look and feel of a typeface when I m reading a book, I like to know what it is When a chapter is on a specific typeface, the first paragraph is set in that face which I think is a really nice touch, and throughout the book every face that is mentioned has an example, either in the form of text set in the face or an image, so you do not need to rush off to your computer very 5 seconds to see what the author is talking about The stories were short and sweet, and I would highly recommend this to anyone who has the slightest interest in typography, even if you have no real prior knowledge the book doesn t use lots of terminology, and when it does, it explains it all very well.As someone who loves typography, this book was definitely a must red for me, but I think most people would find it interesting, it s a rich and varied subject about something that we all see and use everyday without really thinking about it I never knew I needed to read a book on fonts, until I read this book on fonts You ll start to see fonts the way you never, ever have before you ll start to notice them constantly, to an almost maddening intensity Everywhere you go, everything you do fonts, fonts, fonts This one, that one, every font I loved learning the history of fonts in general, and of specific fonts It s so cool to realize that font experts can watch films and point out all the anachronism using fonts created in the I never knew I needed to read a book on fonts, until I read this book on fonts You ll start to see fonts the way you never, ever have before you ll start to notice them constantly, to an almost maddening intensity Everywhere you go, everything you do fonts, fonts, fonts This one, that one, every font I loved learning the history of fonts in general, and of specific fonts It s so cool to realize that font experts can watch films and point out all the anachronism using fonts created in the 1970s in an 1890s movie, for example that I wouldn t have thought about Honestly, it never even really occurred to me that modern fonts are created by humans, that a typeface engineer font creator is a full time job There are also some incredibly cool names in the history of fonts The name Wynkyn de Worde, for example Not only is his name apropos for a font maker word , it s just an all around great name I also like the surname of the da Spira brothers So elegant The book itself is set in a font called Sabon, excluding the font breaks between chapters are a few pages which focus on a particular font s history, and typically are set in that font Sabon is considered one of the most readable of all book fonts and looks very familiar to my eyes, so I d wager it s used in many books for the sake of its clarity And clarity, for us bookworms, is certainly commendable INTERESTING THINGS I LEARNED 1 The word font is an Americanization of the European fount presumably, similar to the color colour, labor labour, and neighbor neighbour disparities 2 In traditional serif fonts, the dot of the lowercase i isn t centered it s slightly to the left And the stem of a lower case t is slightly thicker at the base to avoid the appearance of frailty 3 The majority of books printed in Germany before WW2 were in blackletter that heavy, gothic font you typically see on signs for German style biergartens or Ye Old Towne Pub type places and were considered a sign of German nationalism For a while, Hitler heavily encouraged everyone to use only blackletter fonts, and Nazis used them exclusively However, after invading other countries, blackletter fonts got too difficult to use other countries didn t have presses set up for blackletter fonts so Hitler decided that now, blackletter was a Jewish thing, and only Roman letters standard fonts we see today were allowed 4 A font called Gotham is the trendy new font of the 2000s It s used everywhere from the Discovery channel logo to, most iconically, Barack Obama s presidential campaign.5 The Lion King font, which is called Neuland, is also found on the brand for American Spirit cigarettes AND for Jurassic Park I don t know why I never connected those three things before, but realized it was totally true as soon as I read it Neuland was created in 1923, which is way earlier than I d have guessed It has a distinctly safari vibe or at least, pop culture has imbued it with that And there s definitely some squickily weird racial undertones in the way this font is used in some cases MY FONT PREFERENCES In case you were wondering I m sure you weren t But, after all, you are reading a review for a book about fonts, so you might be interested.I m quite fond of the following LUMOS, which is recognizable as the font used for titles of chapters in Harry Potter books Garamond is used for the regular typeface in HP books it still gives me a friendly little thrill whenever I see it BASKERVILLE whose creator was a friend of Benjamin Franklin an elegant academic look with fancy Qs UNDERGROUND the font used in the London Underground signs a gloriously unique, highly recognizable, and perfectly round font DIDOT just a nice, elegant, 19th century literature looking font CENTURY SCHOOLBOOK my default font Oddly, doesn t get much mention in this book FUTURA designed in the 1920s, this font was previously used by IKEA it stirred up quite the ruckus when IKEA switched from it to the relatively ugly Verdana It was also the font on the plaque left on the moon by Apollo 11 AUNT MILDRED it looks like it was written by Wednesday Addams How can you not love this font I abhor these HELVETICA this is the most common font seen around the world today It s the default for signs, advertisements, everything Once, a type designer tried to spend a day without Helvetica whenever he saw it, he had to avert his eyes he couldn t take any Helvetica signed transport or buy Helvetica branded products or wear clothes with tags in Helvetica or read websites in Helvetica eliminating most websites, since this is a default web font he couldn t use certain cash bills, as Helvetica is on the new US 1 bill he couldn t use credit cards with Helvetica, which eliminates nearly all the major cards Suffice it to say, he didn t do well It s ugly, it s everywhere, it s so, so easy to hate TIMES NEW ROMAN it s just hideous Why is this a default font Get it out of my face ARIAL it s weirdly small and devoid of anything suggesting personality It s like a serial killer It s the Ted Bundy of fonts Ditto CALIBRI, which is the bane of my existence VERDANA it s just boringAnyway, 10 10 recommend, will change the way you see our font saturated world for sure Although it kind of goes astray at the end, the vast majority of this overview of fonts, typefaces, and typography is immensely entertaining and informative Garfield s explanations of typography and his renditions of history feel effortless his prose never gets in the way of the information In that regard, this book is living up to the ideal designer Adrian Frutiger espouses in the chapter about his work If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape The Pl Although it kind of goes astray at the end, the vast majority of this overview of fonts, typefaces, and typography is immensely entertaining and informative Garfield s explanations of typography and his renditions of history feel effortless his prose never gets in the way of the information In that regard, this book is living up to the ideal designer Adrian Frutiger espouses in the chapter about his work If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape The Platonic ideal.Each time Garfield references a font, the first paragraph of that chapter is printed in that style, with a little notation off to the side Which is an obvious idea that no one does It allows you to compare the various typefaces directly and gives you an example right there of what he s talking about.Back in the 1990s publishers were constantly monkeying with their typefaces and I would become so distracted by the letters that it would bring my reading to a screeching halt The lowercase g and the question mark in particular tended to extremely bizarre shapes I kept wondering who would design such atrocities It was the opposite of a comfortable spoon Unsurprisingly, I own almost no books from that era I just couldn t force myself to keep those monstrosities around the house Fortunately this book is set in an unobtrusive and legible font that doesn t advertise itself.There are also numerous illustrations, ranging from purely factual to very amusing He even includes the classic poster that John Lennon referenced on Sgt Pepper s, Being for the benefit of Mr Kite I actually kept setting the book down so I could go look at the various websites and YouTube videos he references, which often led me down rabbit holes of watching clip after clip about typography One evening I ended up watching at least a half dozen TED talks on the subject.Fortunately I had already seen the superb documentary Helvetica, which I highly recommend Even if you have no interest in typography, it s fascinating to see how that font has basically taken over the world I was at the post office over the weekend and it felt like I was inside a box comprised entirely of Helvetica.This is a breezy, fun read that is also jam packed with information, history and design theory Awesomesauce In this day and age, we easily have the choice of at least fifty fonts in a drop down menu all at a click of a button Changing the text on your screen from Arial to Times New Roman to Comic Sans can be done in mere minutes Whether we are writing a paper, a wedding invitation, or creating a presentation, the fonts we choose are important and impactful.But typesetting wasn t always at the fingertips of the layperson It was in the realm of professionals.Simon Garfield offers us a glimpse into th In this day and age, we easily have the choice of at least fifty fonts in a drop down menu all at a click of a button Changing the text on your screen from Arial to Times New Roman to Comic Sans can be done in mere minutes Whether we are writing a paper, a wedding invitation, or creating a presentation, the fonts we choose are important and impactful.But typesetting wasn t always at the fingertips of the layperson It was in the realm of professionals.Simon Garfield offers us a glimpse into the world of fonts In a seemingly unorganized book, the author gives us quick vignettes of the history of various fonts and their creators He jumps from one font to the next and from one technology to the next without giving us much depth Although the snippets of history that he does offer are interesting, it was not enough to sustain my interest throughout an entire book.Reading Just My Type made me feel like I was at a cocktail party stuck in a corner with someone who just happened to be an expert on the history of typesetting, fonts, and their inventors At first, the topic sounds delightful, because who hasn t played with fonts just for fun But then, he drones on and on, jumping from one random font to another with no unifying theme or depth or analysis At the end of the party, it feels like mostly a waste of time Not completely, just mostly.There are so many ways to unify a book on fonts The book could be organized chronologically It could focus on the design aspect It could focus on the technology It could focus on the impact of branding, ad campaigns, and society as a whole But this book does none of that Instead, it skims the surface on most aspects with a littleattention devoted to the personal history of font creators This book won t tell you what is the best font to choose It won t tell you the design determinants of a good font And it seemed to have mostly skipped over typewriters in general After I closed the book, I was left wondering why do typewriters often have that Courier looking font Was that ugly font ever perceived as being easy to read during its heyday I really wanted to like this book Fonts are fun Unfortunately, this book wasn t Rating 4.5 of five UPDATE 6 Sept 2013 I watched a documentary on Netflix last night calledyes Helvetica It was made for Helvetica s 50th anniversary in 2007 I think anyone who liked the idea of this book would enjoy it.The Publisher Says A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy Rating 4.5 of five UPDATE 6 Sept 2013 I watched a documentary on Netflix last night calledyes Helvetica It was made for Helvetica s 50th anniversary in 2007 I think anyone who liked the idea of this book would enjoy it.The Publisher Says A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans and the movement to ban it Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective It also examines why the T in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House A must have book for the design conscious, Just My Type s cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots Leaves and Schott s Original Miscellany My Review I confess it I am a type geek I love a well designed book I love to immerse myself in a book and lose all sense of time and space, and then after I ve returned to the dull confines of mortal reality, look closely at the object in front of me to winkle out its secrets Often I find the design of a book can make it a better read The Night Circus being a great example or pop me so far out of the story there s no way for me to get back in no names, I don t want to hear from all those shady gray twilit ladies with their dripping fangs.So this book was meant for me Simon Garfield, not a first time writer apparently though one couldn t prove it by me, is the perfect cicerone into the mysteries of typefaces, fonts, and typography three separate things he s as nutsy about the subject as one can get did you know there s a type museum It s not open to the public, yes the author knows about it, knows the curatorthat s deep , and able with his clear and pleasant prose voice to bring the reader right along on his trip.It might not be instantly obvious, but every single thing you look at has some relationship to type TV and movies have type in their credits, the box your microwave dinner comes in is loaded with type, the computer you re using All type interfaces The dashboard of your car Type The entire made world relates to us through type at some level Yet many, if not most, of us are blind to its specifics, absorbing only its results and usually its subliminal messages And they are many Some typefaces convey authority Futura, anyone Helvetica Trajan and others soothing calming pleasure Optima Some are bluntly informative Times New Roman, Baskerville and others whimsically amusing Papyrus, the loathed Comic Sans.All of them, without fail, were created by crazy people called type designers to fulfill a function For better or worse, some become standards, and some sink into the great morass of indifference Such is, after all, the fate of most thingsand most people, even type designers.The stories of the type designers Garfield profiles were entertaining, and often illuminating Eric Gill, designer of the famous typeface Gill Sans, was a lech of the first water He was, in fact, criminally culpable in today s world for many of his sexual adventures Funny thingI ve never liked Gill Sans Now I have an excuse John Baskerville, whose beautiful solid yet graceful serif typeface is one of my personal favorites, lived a tough life as a type founder and, within months of his death, was so little valued by his widow that she offered a stranger who came from Europe to meet her recently deceased husband all his fonts and tools for a song I suppose it s my subliminal response to underdogs that makes me love the typeface so.Since type has been part of my existence from little on up, it s hard for me to gauge how good an introduction this book would make to a type tyro, but my sense is that Garfield s obsessiveness about the topic makes him a good and reliable conductor on the train Get on with a pleasant tingle of anticipation, alight at each small station dedicated to the history of one specific typeface, and arrive refreshed and amused at the destination, the place of expanded appreciation of the nature of your entire visible world This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License An entertaining romp through the history of and personalities behind great fonts.