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Just My Type A Book About Fonts
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Sue Baker's view...
October 2010 Book of the Month.
This morning I reached the end of Just My Type, I sighed and put the book down, wishing it had been a lot longer and I hadn’t read it so quickly. Fonts, can I hear you asking, what’s interesting about them? But you’d be so wrong, all human life is here, Simon Garfield tracks the history of fonts from Gutenberg to almost yesterday. What we read and what we write or view on our computers - how we see politics, advertising, entertainment are all influenced by Bodoni, Optima, Times New Roman and a host of other fonts. The book itself is a splendid piece of publishing and beautifully illustrated in the text with font examples and with additional well chosen illustrations.
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Just My Type A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
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.
ReviewsBrilliant ... whether you're a graphics geek or have never given a second thought to what you're reading, don't miss this quirky, fact-filled font fest. -- Lauren Laverne Grazia Reading this book may just change your life; it'll certainly make you smile. If nothing else, it'll make you appreciate the beauty - and sometimes the horror - that is all around you. Time Out A celebration of our way with words Observer Light-hearted but comprehensive, from rather odious typefaces, such as the hairy Grassy, to the ubiquitous Helvetica, each font is given a rundown. Garfield says he's unable to walk past a sign until he has identified the typeface. Now, neither can we. Monocle Garfield convinces us it's okay to actually like typography. What shines about this book is its accessibility; you don't have to be a typeface historian or a designer to find it enthralling ... It's fascinating to read about the history, origins and revolutions of typefaces, and this book strikes a great balance between fact and humour. Garfield's book isn't snobbish or elitist, and this is its most refreshing quality - it's for everyone to enjoy and share ... reading this book may just change your life; it'll certainly make you smile. If nothing else, it'll make you appreciate the beauty - and sometimes the horror - that is all around you. -- Nick Booth Time Out Hugely entertaining ... a lively history ... my considerable enjoyment of this book may have been enhanced by the fact that I've always been very interested in print design. But even those who have never considered the beauty of the Baskerville Q ... should find themselves being drawn in by Garfield's enthusiasm and wit -- Anna Carey Sunday Business Post A quirky introduction to fonts ... Simon Garfield is careful to tickle as much as he teaches ... Just My Type is fun. If you have ever looked at the drop-down menu in Word and wondered what a Garamond is, or what's meant to be new about Times New Roman, Garfield will be just your type. -- Peter Robins Daily Telegraph Dozens of compelling anecdotes are clearly told by Simon Garfield in this eye-opening book, which is utterly convincing in its central idea - that we are surrounded by fonts and influenced by their subtle message ... a delightful, brain-expanding book. -- Harry Mount Mail on Sunday Garfield's great strength is his storytelling. His book comprises dozens of lovely vignettes, anecdotes that make a potentially dusty subject utterly compelling ... he shows as judicious a sense of imagery as he has of more technical description ... a fine primer -- Archie Bland Independent on Sunday A lively history of fonts, from the first moveable letters used by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440s to the latest cutting edge typefaces ... lavishly and imaginatively illustrated ... a joy to look at as well as to read ... encapsulates the romance and magical possibilities of type. -- Anna Carey Sunday Business Post Chatty, anecdotal ... illuminates even a walk to the shops Sunday Times Superb ... it is a fascinating and funny book that delves into the history and oddities of typefaces throughout the ages ... it's full of weird and wonderful stories. -- Doug Johnstone Big Issue A gift for aesthetes and arty types ... funny and fascinating -- Bea Hodgkin Easy Living Just My Type is a font fanatic's dream -- Alison Flood Wired Magazine Garfield is extremely knowledgeable about type history while ignoring the politics and egos ... the tone is often funny and always entertaining ... thoroughly enjoyable. -- Steven Heller Financial Times A delight from start to end The Age, Australia A whistle-stop tour of fonts ... Garfield's book will open your eyes to the array of typefaces that demand our attention every day. -- Emma Hagestadt Lady Punchy and entertaining overview of typography ... Garfield's intriguing book can send you online to look more deeply, typographically speaking into the character issue. -- Liam Stebbing Irish Times Garfield has a track record of making odd subjects fascinating ... a weirdly addictive book. Saga Engrossing ... I've long been a fan of Garfield's popular touch, but he also writes knowledgeably about the minutiae of printing and layout. The book is attractive too ... for this book's many pleasures he should, at least, have a typeface named after him. -- Nick Curtis Evening Standard The most interesting and entertaining parts of the book are the glimpses into the strange internet world of type fanaticism. -- Sebastian Carter TLS Equipped with both knowledge and a nimble way with words, Garfield is an entertaining and congenial guide to this ubiquitous but little-known world. -- Jeremy Lewis Literary Review A quirky and informative study of fonts -- Anthony Horowitz Sunday Telegraph Bouncy, well-informed and wittily designed ... an engaging book. -- Jonathan Glancey Guardian There's a ton of fascinating stuff you never knew about fonts and thankfully Simon Garfield has stuck practically all of it in this friendly and informative book about the subject ... packed with nuggets that are way more relevant to your cool young life than you might realise ... riveting, and truly educational stuff. -- Stuart Hammond Dazed and Confused Amusing and informative ... Just My Type is an immensely refreshing offering from an author who is fascinated by his subject. Conveying the richness and the personality of typefaces with love and passion, this is an accessible and entertaining introduction to the world of lettering. -- Patrick Myles Blueprint Delightful ... Just My Type is the kind of book that makes you look at the world differently, indeed, it can induce a mild obsessive compulsive disorder ... like a master sommelier, Garfield has a wonderful capacity to convery the little hints and barely registered associations which different fonts impart ... an ingenious book. -- Stuart Kelly Scotsman Accessible, informative and often amusing... Copiously illustrated, it's a painless way to develop an appreciation for the subject. -- Alastair Mabbott Herald This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Lynne Truss's best-selling Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation: made it noticeable for people who had no idea they were interested in such things. New York Times [A] lively romp through the history of fonts. Garfield's evocative prose entices us to see letters instead of just reading them Publishers Weekly Highly recommended to all, whether or not you feel predisposed to like this kind of thing! Eye-opening and mind-expanding! Library Journal Deliriously clever and entertaining. Boston Globe A witty and illuminating history of typography... As a writer who succeeds in re-interpreting arcane design-speak for a wider audience, Garfield is at his best when investigating the personal histories of designers... It is a book that opens our eyes afresh to the jostling array of armour-plated
nuzzling typefaces that demand our attention and appreciation... An unexpectedly engrossing read, this is a book that threatens to make font wonks of all of us. -- Emma Hagestadt Independent Entertaining feast of fonts for graphic geeks and a humorous insight into the fonts dominating print today. Times Every so often someone writes a book about an obscure subject and uses it to illuminate the rest of the world... this is one of the best. -- William Leith Evening Standard After being walked through these stories, it's difficult to even look at a cereal packet in the same way again... This book won't just turn readers into avid font-spotters; it will also nudge them towards admiring the beauty of a single letter or a well-drawn ampersand. Garfield's... clear, lyrical prose is infectious, and sometimes as though the letters themselves were living things. -- Jessica Holland Observer
About the Author
Publication date22nd September 2011
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PublisherProfile Books Ltd