Thinking with Type

There are a ton of typography books out there these days and most of them are pretty awful. The “Type Style 2001” books are typically (pun unintended) yuck-o as they are immediately dated as soon ink hits the paper they’re printed on.
Our local Barnes and Noble has a surprisingly good selection of typography and graphic design books. Every month or so I visit those lovely shelves to see what’s around and what’s come in. This is always a more pleasant and more useful experience than looking for design books online, where everything looks wonderful. Today, amidst the Dover clip-art books (which I love), the Japanese anime design books, and the how-to books, was Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton.
This is a beautiful, stately, organized, thoughtful, historically-relevant, unpretentious, well-written, nicely designed, clear-headed, critically-oriented, short, vehement, structured, and elegantly constructed book that covers all of the typographic basics and, mostly, inspires. It’s up-to-date, and its examples include some nicely designed websites like Speak Up and recent font developments as well. Were I to someday write a typography book, I would hire Ms. Lupton to replicate this book and then I’d sign my name on the cover.

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