Typophile Books: Graphic Design History



20th Century Type: Remix

by Lewis Blackwell
Publisher: Gingko Press; Illustrated edition (August 2001)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN: 392725889X
Price: $27.97  Buy It!

Reviewed by Joe Pemberton:
This is an excellent book. While it is not a comprehensive reference, the visual samples are generous and well paced. The historical commentary is well-informed and moderately thorough and provides an enjoyable read. My only complaint is that it only covers the twentieth century!

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The ABC's of Bauhaus, The Bauhaus and Design Theory

by Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller (Editors}
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (June 15, 2000)
Paperback: 64 pages
ISBN: 1878271423
Price: $21.95  Buy It!

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Alphabets to Order: The Literature of Nineteenth-Century Typefounders' Specimens

by Alastair Johnston
Publisher: Oak Knoll Books; (October 2000)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN: 1584560096
Price: $39.25  Buy It!

Reviewed by Poltroon:
This book started out to show how Dadaism and concrete poetry were foreshadowed in the anonymous nonsense texts of type specimen books in the nineteenth century and grew into a much larger cultural study of the reading habits, politics and amusements of that era. The type specimens (many of which are illustrated) are a springboard to a wider discussion of many topics from hermits to the alcoholism of printers. Most of the fun occurs in the footnotes (there is even a fake footnote that can be deciphered as a reference to PALE FIRE by Nabokov). There are checklists of rare specimens in public & private collections in Britiain & the US which can be consulted & very useful family trees showing how the holdings of various typefounders passed from hand to hand. In addition new light is shed on the earliest American wood types cut for display in the 1830s as well as some interesting stuff on the graphic appeal of large type.

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Anthony Froshaug: Typography & Texts/Documents of a Life

by Robin Kinross
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (September 2001)
Paperback
ISBN: 090725909X
Price: $52.50  Buy It!

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Avant-Garde Page Design 1900-1950

by Jaroslav Andel
Publisher: Delano Greenidge Editions; (February 2002)
Hardcover: 388 pages
ISBN: 0929445090
Price: $42.00  Buy It!

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Bauhaus Typografie: Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame

Publisher: Gingko Press; (March 1997)
Hardcover
ASIN: 3927789801
Price: $21.95  Buy It!

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Between Worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, 1910-1930

by Éva Forgács (Editor), Timothy O. Benson (Editor)
Publisher: MIT Press; (June 1, 2002)
Hardcover: 736 pages
ISBN: 0262025302
Price: $31.50  Buy It!

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Beware Wet Paint: Designs by Alan Fletcher

by Alan Fletcher (Designer), Jeremy Myerson (Commentary), Rick Poyner
Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc.; (March 1996)
Hardcover: 266 pages
ISBN: 0714833541
Price: $59.95  Buy It!

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Blackletter: Type and National Identity

by Peter Bain (Editor), Paul Shaw (Editor)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (May 1998)
Paperback: 64 pages
ISBN: 1568981252
Price: $19.95  Buy It!

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Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910-1930

by Timothy O. Benson (Editor), Peter Nadas
Publisher: MIT Press; (March 15, 2002)
Hardcover: 448 pages
ISBN: 0262025221
Price: $41.97  Buy It!

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Covering the 60's: George Lois, the Esquire Era

by George Lois
Publisher: Monacelli Pr; (August 1996)
Paperback: 70 pages
ISBN: 1885254245
Price: $24.50  Buy It!

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Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later, Revised Edition

by Johannes Itten
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Revised edition (December 1, 1975)
Paperback: 136 pages
ISBN: 0471289302
Price: $40.00  Buy It!

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Design Connisseur

by Steven Heller, Louise Fili
Publisher: Allworth Press; (October 1, 2000)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN: 1581150695
Price: $13.97  Buy It!

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Genius Moves: 100 Icons of Graphic Design

by Steven Heller, Mirko Ilic
Publisher: North Light Books; (April 2001)
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN: 0891349375
Price: $24.50  Buy It!

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A History of Graphic Design

by Philip Meggs
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3rd edition (September 1998)
Hardcover: 510 pages
ISBN: 0471291986
Price: $70.00  Buy It!

Reviewed by David Kadavy:
While the beginning parts of this book seems to promise an impressive sensitivity to the relationship between form, technology, and sociopolitical climate, Graphic Design: A Concise History by Richard Hollis actually holds this promise throughout. It is also much more affordable.

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Josef Muller-Brockmann: Pioneer of Swiss Graphic Design

by Lars Muller (Editor), Paul Rand
Publisher: Lars Muller Publishers; 2nd edition (2001)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN: 3906700895
Price: $45.00  Buy It!

Reviewed by Jesùs de Francisco:
Whether we like his work or not — I personally do — He is one of the most influential graphic designers of all time. The book shows a very good selection of his work and ñas in every Lars Muller editionñ is a very well crafted object. [In my humble opinion] a must in order to understand modern graphic design.

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Karl Martens: printed matter/drukwerk

by Robin Kinross (Editor), et al
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 2nd edition (July 2002)
Paperback: 168 pages
ISBN: 0907259200
Price: $28.00  Buy It!

Reviewed by Jesùs de Francisco:
The complete career of one of the Dutch design masters in a beautifully designed and produced book. A true gem!

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Letter Perfect: The Art of Modernist Typography 1896-1953

by David Ryan
Publisher: Pomegranate; (February 1, 2001)
Hardcover: 112 pages
ISBN: 0764916157
Price: $21.00  Buy It!

Reviewed by Jesùs de Francisco:
This book is a concise journey through the typographic styles of the -roughly- first half of the twentieth century. Forty examples illustrating the different periods, namely Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Dadaism, De Stijl, Russian Constructivism, and Bauhaus, all under the Modernism umbrella. And each one annotated and placed in its historical context. Although most of the pieces are not new for anyone interested in Design History, the great quality and the size of the reproductions, together with the amount of related information, make this book stand out among others covering the subject.
     As for myself, just two of the pieces shown, one by Dutch master H. N. Werkman, and another one, a monogram by German designer Walter Dexel, make the book absolutely worthwhile.

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Modern Typography, 2nd Edition

by Robin Kinross
Publisher: Chronicle Books; 2nd edition (February 2004)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN: 0907259189
Price: $19.25  Buy It!

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Paul Rand: A Designer's Art

by Paul Rand
Publisher: Yale Univ Pr; (December 2000)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN: 0300082827
Price: $21.00   Buy It!

Reviewed by Jesùs de Francisco:
"It is in symbolic, visual terms that the designer ultimately realizes his perceptions and experiences; and it is in a world of symbols that man lives." What can one say about one of the true iconic figures in the history of graphic design? A reprint from the original 1985 edition, compiling prior writings from different sources and examples from his work, this book will certainly not be a waste of your time nor your money.

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Paul Renner: The Art of Typography

by Christopher J. Burke

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (January 1999)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN: 1568981589
Price: $24.50  Buy It!

Reviewed by Nick Shinn:
What fascinates me most about typography is the sheer amount of meaning contained in a typeface. A quantum hologram, the more you look the more you find.
     No one has looked harder than Chris Burke, here. This is a heavy-duty piece of scholarship written by a type designer. And what a story, putting type design at the centre of world events and contextualizing it with respect to everything: the designer's personal life, his design work and teaching, technology, politics, culture, business, and so on. All the details of Renner's life illuminate Futura, including those that happened many years after he designed it.
     As a type designer, I found reading this to be very empowering, giving great relevance to a geeky, obscure pursuit.

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Tibor Kalman: Design and Undesign (Cutting Edge)

by Liz Farrelly
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns; (May 1998)
Hardcover: 64 pages
ASIN: 0823011461
Price: 13 used & new from $8.94  Buy It!

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Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist

by Peter Hall (Editor), Michael Bierut (Editor), Chee Pearlman (Editor)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (September 1, 2000)
Paperback: 420 pages
ISBN: 1568982585
Price: $28.00  Buy It!

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Typographica

by Rick Poyner
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (September 2001)
Hardcover: 144 pages
ISBN: 1568982984
Price: $31.50  Buy It!

Reviewed by Jesùs de Francisco:
The history of Typographica magazine in its glorious 32 issues, carefully crafted by British designer Herbert Spencer over the course of eighteen years, from 1949 to 1967. According to Rick Poynor it was influential, eclectic, wide-ranging, experimental, distinctive, groundbreaking...
     This book, on a subject that was previously practically unknown for me, is one of my top five in the last several years.

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Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey
of Type Design and Techniques
Throughout History

by Friedrich Friedl (Editor), Nicolau Ott (Editor), Bernard Stein (Editor)
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Pub; (July 1998)
Hardcover: 592 pages
ISBN: 1579120237
Price: $39.98  Buy It!

Reviewed by Jean François Porchez
Big book (mainly because it is published in German/French/English on same page), low price but, too much missing people and things to be a really good one.
     I bought it one day in 1999, opened it for half an hour, got hungry because I never found the people I looked for, and never re openned it.
     Perhaps better for typography in general than type design in particular.

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Typology: Type Design from the
Victorian Era to the Digital Age

by Steven Heller, Louise Fili
Publisher: Chronicle Books; (July 1999)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN: 0811823083
Price: $20.97  Buy It!

Reviewed by Joe Pemberton:
What this book lacks in sophistication it makes up for in ambition. Few type books cover this full range of periods in a single volume and the material itself does provide a great visual reference if you're looking for inspiration.
     While this book is visually rich and the samples are excellent, it is light on commentary or historical information. This volume is larger than other Chronicle design books but it doesn't take advantage of the added size. Many of the images are small and overly crowded. Overall, though, the price reflects the quality and I enjoy it as part of my library.

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A View of Early Typography: Up To About 1600

by Harry Carter, James Mosley (Introduction)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; (June 2002)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN: 0907259219
Price: $24.50  Buy It!

Reviewed by Fritz Park:
This is essential reading! A must for all typography enthusiasts! A series of lectures given by Carter with a nice overview as well as corrections from Mosley.
     Thoughtful as well as insightful. Although dated. It would seem however, that is the point though!

Reviewed by Jim Richardson:
An education! Taking the reader from the birth of the printing press through the evolution of type from Gothic through to Roman. (Jim Richardson)

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The Well-Made Book: Essays & Lectures

by Daniel Berkeley Updike, William S. Peterson (Editor)
Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; (September 2002)
Hardcover: 408 pages
ISBN: 097156874X
Price: $38.50  Buy It!

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