Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Book rating: 03 Hardback

By (author) Simon Garfield

List price $23.39

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  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 208mm x 38mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 21 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846683017
  • ISBN 13: 9781846683015
  • Edition: Large type / large print
  • Edition statement: large type edition
  • Illustrations note: ill
  • Sales rank: 6,079

Product description

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.

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Author information

Simon Garfield writes for the Observer about science, health and the arts. He is a former editor of Time Out, and his book The End of Innocence won the Somerset Maugham Prize. He has written and edited twelve books, including the bestselling Mass Observation diaries.

Customer reviews

By James 16 Jan 2011 2

Just My Type is written in two or three page long segments, and is mildly intriguing. It covers lots of different things - anecdotes, font origin stories, typography history in general - and it includes examples of lots and lots of fonts.

But I wasn't really taken with the book. My biggest peeve was with the very noticeable lack of large illustrations. It's fine to put the font in the 11pt text (as was done a lot) but to really appreciate a font you have to enlarge it to something big so that you can really get a feel of what's going on. You couldn't appreciate The School of Athens if it was only printed five centimetres high.

I didn't think the content itself was well selected, either. The author mentioned a few different methods of how type is actually applied to paper - photosetting, linotype and so on - but didn't go into any detail as to how these methods worked. Nor did he give any explanation as to how a font is professionally designed. Which is a pity, because there was a good bit of fodder that could have been replaced - random names of font designers which will be meaningless to the kind of people this book is targeted at.

A bit of marketing and a few desperate attempts to find Christmas presents probably put this book near the top 100 best selling books on Amazon. The proof of the pudding is that I now want another book on typography - because I feel I have learned so little from Just My Type. It's a nice dainty, but little more.

By Chloe 12 Dec 2010 4

Fantastic, Fun, Friendly & Funny... It's a great way to learn the history of type without studying textbooks. You'll learn cool facts and anecdotes to slip into conversation. This book will suit the font geek as well as the uninitiated.

A great gift!

Review quote

This is a brilliant book, and Mark Stevenson is the perfect guide to a dizzying future that is already here. Genetic innovation. Social robots. Nano-factories. The ideas come so quickly, with such great humour - it's like the smartest dinner party you've ever attended. Peter Miller, author The Smart Swarm