sendoushi's picture

Well, I tried to search, I bet there are some topics about this but I couldn't find anything. I think the search form isn't really working.

So! I'm looking for books to learn more about type, about lettering and that sort of thing.
What books are there that seem interesting?

Someone on another topic (I think Chris) told me about these which seem pretty interesting (but really expensive by the way). I have some books that I'll post later.

hrant's picture
(BTW, for the record Thomas and I agree on more things these days. :-)


chrisburton's picture

Here is a list from the Type Directors Club -

I've also seen "The Elements of Typographic Style" being mentioned everywhere.

hrant's picture

Do read previous posts.


chrisburton's picture

I have read your post and saw the link. I was just stating that I've seen the mention of the book in numerous places, not just these forums.

hrant's picture

It is a classic. Although FWIW I personally learned more from the other two, possibly because Bringhurst is a bit predictable.


Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Designing Type by Karen Cheng

oldnick's picture

I have—oh—a couple of hundred books: type specimen catalogs, Golden Age of Handlettering chapbooks—even an autographed copy of “American Alphabets” ( that I would be willing to part with pretty cheap, since nobody appears to be willing to offer me a pile of loot for the whole collection…

Say, is Stephen Saxe still alive?

11/2: Never mind about the “for sale” part: I am donating all 677 pounds (18 cartons) to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. UPS picks them up today.

sendoushi's picture

Checking the books you're talking...

Here are the books I have (type concerning):
- Left-handed Calligraphy by Vance Studley
- A Book of Scripts by Alfred Fairbank
- A Renaissance Alphabet by Giovanni Francisco Cresci
- Tipografia by Paulo Heitlinger ( a book that goes by the story and the basics of typography)

By the way, where do you buy used books?

hrant's picture

Yeah, I have Studley's "Left-handed Calligraphy" myself. Read it so you don't try. :-/ From that other thread*:
BTW, I managed to dig up that "Left-Handed Calligraphy" book (Vance Studley, a 1991 Dover facsimile of the 1979 edition) and the inconsistencies I see here are reflected there as well. By turns you read things like "With a little effort, you can learn to letter with the broad-edged pen as well as the right-hander", followed not far afterwards by things like "the left-handed person is kept at a disadvantage" and "It is an altogether different way of tackling the problem and must be seen from this other point of view". Every passage contains a "sure, no problem" followed by a "it's really different". Very unnerving, and it leaves the impression that the nasty truth is being obscured.


Buying: Unless it's a must-own I first check the UCLA libraries to see if I can save the money; then I check .


Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Bodoni's Manuale Tipografico
Novarese's lo studio e il disegno del carattere

jason's picture

I've got a decent and growing collection of books on typography, a few hundred of which are posted on the page linked here. Have a look around to see if anything grabs you, and, if so, go look for copies on ABE:

hrant's picture

Killer collection.

Jason (or anybody else, I guess), how do you like Maret's "Visionaries & Fanatics: Type Design & The Private Press"?


sendoushi's picture

I haven't seen these new posts. I must say using the Parallel pen has been stupendous! Love it! I don't care any longer about left-hand "disability" :P Just have to check those brush pens to see if they're nice for script.

Ryan: I've already seen that book but I think it's kind of a book to buy when you have all the others. It's a good book but as a complementary don't you think? I still don't even have the Elements of Typographic Style!

jason: Love your collection! I guess I'll try and find some of those. Still establishing a book priority or else it will be my ruin! Ehehe.

hrant: It seems interesting. Have you seen it already? What do you think about it?

A friend of mine, someone who I may partner up, which is a type designer, recommended me this one: Cómo crear tipografías (, I know it's spanish but it really seems interesting! Value: 21 € (not expensive)

hrant's picture

When you don't care about a problem you suffer it more.


pealwah's picture

I only brought 3 books to college with me -- both Doyald Young books and my Bible. His books are really great and in my opinion, totally worth it. Though I got both of mine for free so I don't know if I would be willing to spend my own money for them.

Karl Stange's picture

His books are really great and in my opinion, totally worth it

If you didn't pay for them and would not, what exactly are they worth to you?

Is it a polyglot bible?

Renaissance Man's picture

• Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type by Geoffrey Dowding
• Type Rules!: The Designer's Guide to Professional Typography by Ilene Strizver
• Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton
•Inside Paragraphs by Cyrus Highsmith
If you're just getting your feet wet:In Print : Text and Type in the Age of Desktop Publishing by Alex Brown

hrant's picture

I am donating

Very nice.


bojev's picture

You have done a very good thing Nick and should be congratulated for it!

Old Nick 11/2: Never mind about the “for sale” part: I am donating all 677 pounds (18 cartons) to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. UPS picks them up today.

Typogruffer's picture

Back to the topic, apart from books, I also find research papers and dissertations to be very helpful. Especially the ones from MATD, Reading. Some other papers can be downloaded from


George Horton's picture

I wish Letters of Credit were longer...
The 1973 edition of A Tally of Types isn't perfect as an account of Monotype's hot-metal text faces, but it does have extra value as an example of how much better Centaur, Arrighi, Bell, 9-point Times and Van Dijck looked in the old days than the digital versions do now. (Except for Romulus, I don't think the other faces are presented so well, mainly because of the generous inking.)

Chris Dean's picture

You might find a few interesting articles to read in the Literature section of my website.

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