Robert Bringhurst

Indices : Writers : Robert Bringhurst

Typographic expert, poet, translator of Native American lore and designer, Robert Bringhurst is known best for his typographic reference work Elements of Typographic Style, a frequently-updated book widely considered to be the definitive handbook for contemporary typographers. He also extensively updated Warren Chappel's Brief History of the Printed Word and wrote a short book / long essay on written communication and meaning, The Solid Form of Language. He collaborated with letterpress printer Peter Koch on Carving the Elements, a commentary on the Fragments of Parmenides. He has also written many volumes of poetry and translated lore.

Bringhurst's varied experience as a writer serves him well in his efforts to corral typography; his work as a poet gives him a clear, deft command of English, and his experience as a translator working with some uniquely difficult scripts gives him valuable insight into life beyond the Latin alphabet. His advice is sometimes idiosyncratic but never dogmatic, he sees typography as subservient to the text it sets, and above all he advocates humility as a typographer's greatest strength. His typographic writings are not perfect, but they are clear-eyed, graceful, and always useful.

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