Type Composition Primer?

shielddesign's picture

I need a book about how to compose type. But I don’t want to read any more books about the history of type, what an ascender is, etc. I would like a book that explains line length, leading, tracking, but not what they are, but what the rules are for using them and how to best break them.


Miss Tiffany's picture

Old school, but still useful, IMHO

How to Spec Type by Alex White.

shielddesign's picture

Thanks guys! I am also hunting down a copy of that Rhyme & Reason: a Typographic Novel. Erik Spiekermann...not easy. I am trying abebooks next. I am sad to say I never heard of any of these except Bringhurst...so I am really looking forward to looking at them.

blank's picture

A Type Primer by John Kane would be right up your alley, but you’ll have to either pay a lot or order it from the UK. For some reason the American publishers think that when a type book sells out and the price doubles for secondhand copies, they shouldn’t publish more.

William Berkson's picture

Book Typography: A Designer's Manual has excellent examples of type blocks showing the affect of different decisions with different typefaces. They also discuss some issues not in Bringhurst (at least the edition I have.)

shielddesign's picture

Thanks again. I am looking forward to curling up with some good type books this holiday season. I was unable to get the Rhyme & Reason: a Typographic Novel. Erik Spiekermann but several others are already on their way from Amazon.

I am just developing "my style" but I am starting to think that I am one of those people that likes to work with only 5-10 fonts but really, really get to know them well and I hope these books can help me with that. Right now I am obsessed with Whitney not only because it is "museum-like" but also because it has an amazing array of weights which for my publication work is a godsend. It also seems sort of like a classic in the making which I love.

Do You have long term "favorite" fonts or do you switch all the time?

Stephen Coles's picture

Spiekermann's "Stop Stealing Sheap" is a better book for your needs anyway.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Type Rules!, by Ilene Strizver.

Getting It Right with Type, by Victoria Squire.

Any book by James Craig.

Here's another old-school entry: The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography, by Ruari McLean.

And another: Typography: design and practice, by John Lewis.

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