Book Design (Andrew Haslam), Book Typography (Ari Rafaeli)

rlueder's picture

Hello typophiles,

I came across these two books the other day: Book Design by Andrew Haslam and Book Typography by Ari Rafaeli.

I was wondering if any of you have read them and, if you did, what do you think of them?

I already own Book Design by Hendel, Designing Books by Hochuli and Notes on Book Design by Birdsall, do these two books bring any new information worth the purchase?

charles ellertson's picture

Well, I'm biased of course. Rafaeli quoted one of my emails without my permission. He could have had permission (1) if he asked, and (2) if the email was explained -- it was a private email to Rich Hendel and was a follow-up to a telephone conversation. Unless the phone conversation was included, the email made no sense -- which may have been his goal.

His real purpose seemed to be to get at Rich Hendel, who I both admire and call a friend. I take the whole thing as deceitful.

With that in background, I suppose anything I say about this being a more or less useless book, and not that well set or designed, will have to be viewed as biased. However, that is my view.

Charles Ellertson

ben_archer's picture

There is a very well-put review of Ari Rafaeli's book by Robin Kinross for Eye magazine at

Last year at some point I borrowed a copy from my University library and read it; of the other titles you mention I know only 'Designing Books' by Jost Hochuli, but I suspect that they all might provide a bigger, and perhaps more balanced picture than 'Book Typography'.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

A have both books, but they just don't compare to

notes on book design by Derek Birdsall

That one truly is an eyeopener. Esp. Birdsalls system of dealing with reproductions of art. A must have, imho.

(PS · Rafaeli's book is a let down.)

William Berkson's picture

Those of you who know the other books on this area, what do you think of 'Book Typography' by Mitchell & Wightman?

rlueder's picture

For a review of Book Typography by Mitchell & Wightman take a look here:

Still waiting for some opinions on Haslam's book, anyone? :)

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