Book on type design you'd recommend?

G T's picture

Good day people.

A friend of mine wants to buy me a book on type in some regard as a present for a little logo I did her.

I just wondered if people had anything they would recommend? Nothing too expensive. Something with a bit of theory and a bit of experience would be perfect, I'm not so much looking for an instructional guide as musings/discussions on type design.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)


ps. I already have the triumvirate, ta.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Hi G,
I posted this very same question some time ago. People advised me Designing Type by Karen Chang and the Logo, Font & Lettering Bible by Cabarga.

Chris Dean's picture

What is your price range?

John Lyttle's picture

I'm enjoying Ellen Lupton's Thinking with Type.
The online companion to the book is

penn's picture

This might be what you're looking for in terms of a nice but modest gift:

G T's picture

Hi all,

Thanks very much for your suggestions.

I'd say the price range is £5 to £15.

Should have said that I already own Leslie Carbarga's 'L,F&LBible' and Ellen Lupton's 'Thinking with Type'. Ta though.

'The Stroke' by Gerrit Noordzij was something I'd had a look at. It deals with constructing typefaces from the point of view of the written letter. I was wondering if anyone knew of any books that approach type design from the opposite point of view; rejecting the stroke and considering each glyph as a collection of shapes? This is something that I am equally interested in.

[I'm not trying to start an argument about which is the right approach here, I'm just intrigued by both perspectives]

Thanks for your help,


babs's picture

detail in typography is really nice.

eliason's picture

Also from Hyphen, Robin Kinross, Unjustified Texts.
(Though it's currently out of print)

Jackson's picture

Not mentioned a lot when these lists come up but one of my favorites: Metro Letters

John Hudson's picture

re. The Stroke: It deals with constructing typefaces from the point of view of the written letter.

Well, no, it doesn't deal with ‘constructing typefaces’ at all. I'm not sure that type is even mentioned in the book, except perhaps in passing. It's an approach to analysing and understanding what is happening in letterforms in terms of stroke construction. As such, I'd say it is a fundamental text, even if one's approach to type design is more or less independent of such analysis. It's not about a right or wrong way to design type, but about building analytical toolsets that enable one to understand what one is doing and looking at. I'd love to be able to recommend another book that provides a comparable analytical approach to letters ‘as collections of shapes’, but to my knowledge such a book doesn't exist. Perhaps because type designs approached in such a way tend to be individual, so there is no common model that can be applied to their analysis.

By the way, Walter Tracy's Letters of Credit remains one of the best books on the subject of type design.

G T's picture

Thanks again for your suggestions.

John: Thanks, That sounds perfect. As to there being a right and a wrong way to design a typeface… Well I think the various aborted attempts at type design I have undertaken show that there are approaches that don't quite work :)

Another question. Does anyone know of any books that look into Evert Bloemsma's work? In particular Legato.



William Berkson's picture

These are a bit pricey, but unique:

I have Fonts & Logos and found it most informative in getting across what "even color" means in glyph and logo design, and its importance.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Counterpunch by Fred Smeijers was an eye opener to me at the time. Recommend highly.

John Hudson's picture

Yes, Counterpunch is very good, and in some respects provides an alternative or complementary analytical approach to the Noordzijan stroke model.

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