Book recommendations, please

paul.farrell's picture

I am a graphic designer with an interest in type which is becoming obsessive, and I'm starting to think about designing my own fonts (I mean, how hard can it be, we all know what a 'h' looks like).

Can anyone recommend any good books that give a through grounding in type design? I have a copy on Fontlab Studio but I'm eager to at least find out what hinting means before I absently start drawing glyphs.

nina's picture

Hi Paul,

I'm just starting out with type design too, so I'm sure others will offer recommendations and opinions from more "expert" perspectives; that said, I'd like to recommend two books that have been helping me a lot along the way of designing my first typeface.

Design-wise, Designing Type by Karen Cheng is quite a thorough walk-through through sans & serif upper- and lowercase letters as well as numerals. She presents the letters in different typefaces, and points out design concerns relevant to them, how to approach them and what to keep in mind. I've found it quite helpful (especially when complemented by looking at, and analyzing, existing typefaces oneself).

On the more technical side, I think the universally accepted best introduction to FontLab is Leslie Cabarga's Learn FontLab Fast, which on a side note, looks quite cramped, but works very well in introducing the workflow and tools available in FontLab.

Have fun. :-)

Alessandro Segalini's picture

A 'h,' Paul, is just an 'h,' don't you find a type library enough for your jobs ?
Well, sure if you are one of those people who are (or wants to be) assertive (or challenging) about software, you should build your own hardware.

Quincunx's picture

> I mean, how hard can it be, we all know what a ’h’ looks like.

I hope that was sarcasm? :)

scottsullivan's picture

what does an 'h' look like?

- Scott Sullivan

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Check out the TypoWiki's Books section. Also, you can consult the How-To section of the TypoWiki.

paul.farrell's picture

Nina, thanks for those suggestions, I'll certainly check out those books.

Alessandro, various type libraries have kept me interested and (hopefully) creative in the ten years I've been working as a graphic designer, and I've now formed strong opinions on what I like and dislike. It was for this reason that I started to think about designing my own type, it seemed the next logical step.

Jelmar, rest assured. I’m not that arrogant!

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Good luck with your projects, Paul.

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