Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Simon Garfield / May 21, 2019

Just My Type A Book About Fonts A delightfully inquisitive tour that explores the rich history and the subtle powers of fonts Fonts surround us every day on street signs and buildings on movie posters and books and on just about

  • Title: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
  • Author: Simon Garfield
  • ISBN: 9781592407460
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Paperback
  • A delightfully inquisitive tour that explores the rich history and the subtle powers of fonts Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product that we buy But where do fonts come from and why do we need so many Who is behind the businesslike subtlety of Times New Roman, the cool detachment of AriaA delightfully inquisitive tour that explores the rich history and the subtle powers of fonts.Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product that we buy But where do fonts come from and why do we need so many Who is behind the businesslike subtlety of Times New Roman, the cool detachment of Arial, or the maddening lightness of Comic Sans and the movement to ban it Simon Garfield embarks on a mission to answer these questions and , and reveal what may be the very best and worst fonts in the world.Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago, when the pull down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Garfield unravels our age old obsession with the way our words look Just My Type investigates a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seemingly ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and what makes a font look presidential, male or female, American, British, German, or Jewish From the typeface of Beatlemania to the graphic vision of the Obama campaign, fonts can signal a musical revolution or the rise of an American president This book is a must read for the design conscious that will forever change the way you look at the printed word.

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      146 Simon Garfield
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      Posted by:Simon Garfield
      Published :2018-011-12T08:40:18+00:00

    About "Simon Garfield"

      • Simon Garfield

        Simon Garfield is a British journalist and non fiction author He was educated at the independent University College School in Hampstead, London, and the London School of Economics, where he was the Executive Editor of The Beaver He also regularly writes for The Observer newspaper.


    1. Updated - 7/9/13 - see link at bottomI am hardly a monogamous sort. I find that I am regularly attracted to different types. Sometimes I like them with big bowls. I am definitely fond of zaftig with strokable, curvy edges, sometimes I prefer something a bit more conservative, upright, familiar. And rarely, slender even, maybe with sharp edges. Occasionally I go for something way out there, maybe with spikes or exploding bits. Ok, you can put your filthy mind back where it belongs now. We are tal [...]

    2. Rating: 4.5* of five ***UPDATE 6 Sept 2013***I watched a documentary on Netflix last night calledsHelvetica! It was made for Helvetica's 50th anniversary in 2007. I think anyone who liked the idea of this book would enjoy it.The Publisher Says: A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you?Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But wher [...]

    3. Drowning. Feuds. Nazis. Bestiality. Probably not topics you expect to find in a book about fonts. Granted, the drowning was of the Doves font (its creator threw the matrices and the metal letters into the Thames river instead of bequeathing his perfect font to anyone else after his death). And the feuds range the gamut from public backlash over IKEA changing its font from Futura to Verdana to the online movement against Comic Sans (the world's worst font, allegedly). And detail-oriented Nazis de [...]

    4. This book answers such basic questions as: What exactly is a typeface? What's the difference between a typeface and a font? What specific features make them good or bad--assuming one can qualify them subjectively in this way? Why are there so many? And why do people keep designing more? Why are some so well liked, whereas others are almost universally mocked and vilified? Why are old ones still used today, whereas many newer (and carefully designed) ones will never be more than historical curios [...]

    5. I’ll need to look it up when I get home, I guess, but Peter Carey in Theft – A Love Story – or rather, after he has finished the book – says what font the book needs to be printed in. Always a bit of a wanker, this goes some way to push Carey into extreme-nerd-wanker-land.Now, not that I can talk. I’ve just finished and enjoyed a book on fonts – and a talking book on fonts (which, no matter how beautifully read. you would have to say, somewhat misses the point). But although I’m gu [...]

    6. I’m only just on target with my challenge, and I think this is because this is another genre of books that I am not swift at reading! I would normally dip into books like this and going at it all in one go wasn’t difficult, but I did go a day every now and again where I didn’t pick this up… I think this is mainly because this topic is linked to my job and after spending all day designing and looking at typefaces, occasionally (as much as I love the subject!) I didn’t want to then carry [...]

    7. Although it kind of goes astray at the end, the vast majority of this overview of fonts, typefaces, and typography is immensely entertaining and informative. Garfield’s explanations of typography and his renditions of history feel effortless; his prose never gets in the way of the information. In that regard, this book is living up to the ideal designer Adrian Frutiger espouses in the chapter about his work: “If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape.” [...]

    8. In this day and age, we easily have the choice of at least fifty fonts in a drop down menu all at a click of a button. Changing the text on your screen from Arial to Times New Roman to Comic Sans can be done in mere minutes. Whether we are writing a paper, a wedding invitation, or creating a presentation, the fonts we choose are important and impactful.But typesetting wasn’t always at the fingertips of the layperson. It was in the realm of professionals.Simon Garfield offers us a glimpse into [...]

    9. Note: I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. This made for an enjoyable and easy read. For anyone who’s studied typography or design, I can’t imagine the book would contain anything they don’t already know, but for a clueless layman like myself it’s full of interesting information on something most of us probably give little thought to. As someone coming to this book with precious little knowledge on the subject beyond a passing familiarity with some of the more widely-used fonts out [...]

    10. Read and reviewed in May 2012, just updated my review to my current ordering system.Book Information: Genre: Nonfiction, typographyRecommended for: People interested in the typography that surrounds us.My Thoughts: I find fonts fascinating; I love to use unusual fonts in personal correspondence (although I prefer Times New Roman for other uses), and I love to learn about fonts and typesetting, which leads me to read the little bit at the end of many books that tells about the font being used in [...]

    11. The fact that this book was immensely popular when first published in 2010/11 speaks well for the interest in its subject matter. Going from the general responses of readers, I feel that simply referring readers of my review to those comments as more than adequately covering the matter. For those not aware of what fonts are, and how they are present everywhere in our consumer world, then this book is a must — and I might even suggest a 5 star rating for them.This is undoubtedly a fun book to [...]

    12. Hard to believe, perhaps, but this book about fonts, typefaces, the shapes of the letters that make up the text we read every day, is lively and entertaining in a way that defies its only apparently trivial topic. From the reviled Comic Sans, to the historic impacts of powerhouse fonts like Times New Roman and Helvetica, to less common faces (like one of my personal favorites, Zapf Optima), Simon Garfield shares his enthusiasm for type in a series of clear, erudite, and wide-ranging essays. You [...]

    13. (3.5) First book I've read on this topic, learned a bitI liked the historical discussion as well as the brief introduction to the terminology of typefaces and typography. I wish Garfield spent more time here so that he could use the more precise language to describe many of the fonts that he discusses.Did a good job of using the fonts themselves in the text (though from a few bugs in the ARC it looked like maybe they were pasted textboxes on top of the text?--how daunting a task to be responsibl [...]

    14. What can I say? This was one of the best books I've read in a while. Of course, I'll never forgive it for completely ruining any chance I'd ever have to simply enjoy a sign on a shop or a book cover or a restaurant menu, or any written item I chance to see around me. I can never go back to simply "reading" the title, instead I examine the font and wonder what subliminal message it conveys (and more often than not, the shop owner or movie poster designer might not even imagine what their choice o [...]

    15. Just think - Garfield reminds us - before the personal computer most people knew next to nothing about typeface. But once we were given the opportunity to use it, we took off and often overdid it, used the same typeface for everything (comic sans), or used multiple typefaces on a page rather than bothering with expressive language. But that was part of the learning process and most of us settled in to a few reliable typefaces, which we call fonts. That's another thing I like about this author. H [...]

    16. Somehow this manages to be a loose survey of typefaces, a typographic history, and a look at how type functions in our lives without feeling too long or too brief. I found this a delightful read filled with wonderful examples and anecdotes as charming as they were insightful (Ever wanted to know about the origins of Comic Sans or the edgy life of Gill Sans's creator? Or which font was destroyed by one of its creative partners deciding to throw the metal originals into a river? Or which font Obam [...]

    17. I REALLY did enjoy this one. Who would have thought a book all about fonts would be so exciting and interesting. It was quite well written, and kept my interest throughout. Considering how little I knew about fonts walking into this book, I can't believe how much more knowledge I've gained.

    18. The language of letter meets the language of Art and it’s one hell of a rave.The dustcover of “Just My Font” gets the party going. Heavy metal, hot type, eight eclectic fonts; none of which I’d heard of : Adriator Regular, Aeronaut, Flirt Bold, Cyclone, Adam Gorry-Inline, Shuttlestock Decorative Alphabet, PopUps, and Polytone Reliant are just some of the actors and actresses in this play. What a party! Mind-altering drugs not required.Having been slapped in the face by the equivalent of [...]

    19. Considerably readable, this book is informative and inspiring regarding each font's interesting inception, ‘typographic engineer’ and impact on the printing, advertising and communicating world dating back years ago till present days. It’s inspiring due to different font examples that help its readers decide which one should be more appropriate in what context and why.I recalled vaguely, more than a decade ago, it was advised not to send a message in capital letters. For instance, we’re [...]

    20. This book is seemingly written for a niche audience - the sort of people who talk about fonts the way others might talk about wine, or who spot typeface anachronisms in movies. I am not in this crowd, though I did have a favorite font in high school (ITC Officina Sans, mentioned on page 182) and a month ago I pondered aloud the different fonts used on Interstate signs (this topic is also covered!). So when this book was mentioned in an article on Slate I had enough mild interest to look it up.Tu [...]

    21. Truthfully, as a child that came up nearly entirely within the digital age, I never really gave much thought to typeface or fonts. As I would imagine that most others of my generation have done, I simply took these items for granted. Furthermore, I presumed the only utility of choosing between 'Word' fonts was to come in just below, or right at, the page limit of my high school and college assignments. 'Just My Type' has opened my eyes into the utterly fascinating world of type, typeface, and fo [...]

    22. This is a fun and interesting read that is perfect for all the font nerds out there and anyone who is interested in areas such as design, marketing and IT history.I thought I had a pretty good idea about different fonts until this book opened my eyes. There were so many fonts I'd never heard of and others that I knew without realising they had once been designed for a specific purpose before becoming mainstream.This book combined chapters on the general history of type and fonts with sections de [...]

    23. Who Knew?If the reader is looking for a book that simply places full alphabet pages of the various typefaces or fonts available today, this is not the book you're looking for. Yes, all of those fonts form the beginning of printing to the present are indeed present in Simon Garfield's JUST MY TYPE but instead of a study book of fonts, this is a commentary on the history of fonts that is tremendously entertaining as well as informative. Some features one would not expect in a book of this nature i [...]

    24. You'd think a book entirely focused on typefaces would only interest those with a keen interest in graphic design, but no, Simon Garfield's font-filled fact-fest appeals to the everyday reader, too. Anyone from the most experienced of typographical artists to your average computer user whose knowledge of fonts stretches no further than Arial and Comic Sans will enjoy it. Packed to the brim with interesting stuff about all areas of the field of typography. Each chapter revolves around a single to [...]

    25. I found this book entertaining, informative, and visually enjoyable. It wasn't written as a dry textbook-like tome, but rather as a narrative-driven, real world-connected, conversational history. I found it similar to "Seven Days In the Art World" in that the author traveled to many destinations to meet with leaders in the typeface industry/"world" and get immersed in projects and workshop atmospheres. I couldn't put the book down with the witty flourish of many case-studies and histories. And-- [...]

    26. Garfield is an excellent writer and I loved his books on Mass Observation diaries, some of the best Social History I have ever read. But who would have thought that a book about fonts could be so fascinating?I like a book that makes me look at things differently and I am definitely staring at signs and notices a lot more than usual!I love the thought of 'font experts' getting all hot under the collar when they watch a film set in, say, the 1920's and observe fonts in it (on signs, menus, letters [...]

    27. Uma abordagem muito bem humorada sobre a tipografia, "Esse é meu tipo" faz bem em apresentar desde a história da tipografia a seus expoentes mais conhecidos, além de uma pausa aqui e ali para contar um pouco a história de determinada fonte marcante, desde Frutiger e Gill Sans a Gotham e Albertus. Uma leitura bem leve, introdutória e satisfatória. Bota um pouco de pensamento nessa história de estarmos rodeados de alfabetos que querem dizer coisas diferente se nos passar sensações distint [...]

    28. Well, this kind of breaks away from my normal rule against reading about super-small subcultures. You know, those books about professional Scrabble players or guys who build their own tiny cabins and release weird MP3's on their own web sites. I spend a lot of time on the internet. Don't judge me.But because this book isn't about weird PEOPLE (ostensibly) I figured it was worth a shot.There are some interesting stories in here. A sexual deviant font designer. A gravestone with a Comic Sans inscr [...]

    29. Simon Garfield is a British author who has written non-fiction works delving into everything from the history of AIDS in Britain, to the attitudes of the British during and after WW2. He's a splendid writer who concentrates on - shall we say - somewhat "quirky" topics. Case in point is his current book on fonts (or founts, as they used to be called).Fonts came into being with the invention of the printing press in the late 15th century. It is shocking to realise that the printing of books for th [...]

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