Just My Type

Just My Type : A Book About Fonts

3.81 (32,040 ratings by Goodreads)
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Just My Type is a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers ... and typefaces became something we realised we all have an opinion about.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 142 x 208 x 38mm | 539.77g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • ill
  • 1846683017
  • 9781846683015
  • 13,068

Review quote

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 * A celebration of our way with words * Observer * 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 * Brilliant ... 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 * 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 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 * 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 * There is even a photograph of a quick brown fox literally jumping over a lazy dog. What a clever, clever book. -- Lynne Truss Just My Type is an entertaining romp through the world of type design. Mr. Garfield explains the angst and the joy of typography; this is a great book for design geeks to press into the hands of the uninitiated in hopes of conversions, like missionaries with a religious tract. -- Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry 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... bright and sparkling. -- Janet Maslin * New York Times *
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About Simon Garfield

Simon Garfield is the author of twelve acclaimed books of non-fiction including Mauve, The Error World and The Nation's Favourite. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive - Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles - provided unique insights into the Second World War and its aftermath, and his study of Aids in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham prize. He lives in London and St Ives, Cornwall. He currently has a soft spot for Requiem Fine Roman and HT Gelateria.
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Rating details

32,040 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 35% (11,331)
4 28% (9,110)
3 23% (7,401)
2 8% (2,665)
1 5% (1,533)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
by James
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!show more
by Chloe
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