Size-specific adjustments to type designs: An investigation of the principles guiding the design of optical sizes

Tim Ahrens's picture


Finally, my book on optical sizes has been published.

It is very type designer-centric so I guess it may be of interest for many people here.

On the ATypI website you can see my paper for the St Petersburg conference, which gives you a foretaste.

nina's picture

Wow, great!! How exciting to see a book
entirely devoted to this much-needed topic.

Maybe it's just me, but the "Buy" link doesn't seem to work. :-(
(Sorry - error
Please go back and Check your input fields.

… when there weren't any input fields.)

blank's picture

I gotta get this family out the door so I can buy a copy!

crossgrove's picture

Wonderful, Tim. Congratulations!

[I get the same error on clicking "buy".]

Jos Buivenga's picture

Great, Tim! I'm certainly gonna purchase it as soon as the error devil has gone.

James, I hope you were talking to your font family ;)

blank's picture

Yeah, I don’t let my real family in the apartment.

clauses's picture

Congratulations Tim. A type designer-centric book? Yes please!

Jos Buivenga's picture

James, you could let them buy some kind of ticket.

nepenthe's picture

This look like it will be a fantastic read. I can't wait to buy a copy!

Miss Tiffany's picture

Congratulations, Tim. It looks like a very good read.

dezcom's picture

The book for the rest of us :-)


Eli's picture

Wow, congratulations! I'm going to buy it too, as soon as the link to buy it is fixed. BTW your lecture about Font RMX tools was very interesting, I watched the video.

rob keller's picture

I can confirm this is indeed great and useful book!

The only down side: this is the definitive source for all optical sized font specimens. There are nice samples that take up a big chunk of the book...

So everyone out there working on optical sizes now, start hoping for a second edition :)

Best of luck Tim!


Alessandro Segalini's picture

Congrats, Tim, I think I'll get a copy myself, too !
And I am sure Cynthia has done a great job as well.

Jens Kutilek's picture

Congratulations, Tim! I hope you bring some copies to Typo Berlin so I can buy one there :)

k.l.'s picture

... bring some copies to Typo Berlin ...

Very good idea!

nina's picture

Yes, thirded! Please bring a stack. ;-)

Tim Ahrens's picture

Thanks for your interest, everyone.

I already contacted the Typo Berlin organisers re book sales. Will do my best to get that sorted.

Tim Ahrens's picture

Now the "Buy" link is working!

clauses's picture

Tim I can only select 'Canada' or 'United States' in the order forms. I live in neither.

Nick Shinn's picture

...the definitive source for all optical sized font specimens.

I will be pleasantly surprised if any of my work is included.

Tim Ahrens's picture

I have just been informed by the publisher that they do ship outside North America.
You can select any US state. Since the order is processed by humans (and the credit card will not be charged by an automatism) they will ignore that.

sorry, I was not aware of your work when I did my research (which was 3 years ago). I know it must be frustrating if your work is not recognised. However, consider it was originally an MA thesis and I worked under time pressure. There are other designers I missed or was unable to contact.
The book and the sample section is by no means complete. However, it is probably still by far the most comprehensive paper on the subject.

Nick Shinn's picture

I know it must be frustrating if your work is not recognised.

It's how I keep my cachet :-)

Thomas Phinney's picture


Now I just need to decide whether to buy now and send to our existing address, or wait until we move at the end of the month....


ebensorkin's picture

Looking forward to reading your book Tim!

dstype's picture

Congrats, Tim!
I must have this one!


blank's picture

Will this book only be available directly from the publisher? I tried ordering through my local booksellers and they aren’t able to order it.

Michael Hernan's picture

Appendices of epic proportions

Michael Hernan

ebensorkin's picture

James - yes just from the publisher.

Jos Buivenga's picture

Great! Just recieved my copy today.

dezcom's picture

Me too! And I even finished reading it! Thanks, Tim!


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