New Book: "Lettering & Type", B Willen & N Strals

hrant's picture

Out yet?
Any good?


Justin_Ch's picture

It should have come out on November 1st. What I've seen looks good but that has only been on the net. I'm also waiting for a few more opinions here because I've got so many books on the subject already.

Nick Shinn's picture

What a dull title.
Course-book wannabe?

Jackson's picture

I'm still skeptical, based on this list of "contributers"

William Berkson's picture

Looks good to me! The interview and examples from Christian Schwartz are great, but of course I don't know about the rest. I always want the thing in my hands and preview before I buy.

hrant's picture

Jackson, what's wrong with the contributors list? Not enough "density" of type designers? The only potentially negative thing I can read into the list is that there might simply be too many people, which sometimes translates into not enough content/depth per contributor. At 144 pages, it's looking like about one page per.


blank's picture

I’ve skimmed it; I wish it had been around when I was in design school futzing my way through similar ideas and exercises on my own. It would be a good course book for a course in lettering or as supplementary material to a typography program. For someone who already knows lettering and type design it’s just going to collect dust. It’s certainly not the grail of type design theory some people want, but it’s also not titled Designing Type

I think Jackson was referring to the contributors list being absurd. Some of those people are dead, so it’s rather a stretch to list them alongside those living designers who contributed directly to the book.

paulstonier's picture

I've also glanced at it. Looking into purchasing it soon. It's quite well done. The guys at Post Typography are always awesome.

Jackson's picture

Yea, theres a good number of dead people listed. In my brain there is a difference between contributed and republished content. I haven't seen the book yet though and I completely missed the New York launch event.

Mark Simonson's picture

Just picked up a copy on the way home from dinner. For some reason I thought it would be bigger, like a coffee table book. But it's about the size of Ellen Lupton's book, "Thinking With Type", which makes sense since it's the same publisher. The format is similar. It's a good overview of the subject with a lot of recent examples of work from some of the top people in the fields of lettering and type design.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

But it’s about the size of Ellen Lupton’s book, “Thinking With Type”, which makes sense since it’s the same publisher.

Yep. It's part of their ongoing series, "Design Briefs."

david h's picture

> Any good?

any non-latin work?

Mark Simonson's picture

No. Unless I missed something, it covers only Latin-based lettering and type design.

david h's picture

Thanks, Mark.

> it covers only Latin-based lettering and type design.

again? :)

Elias's picture

Just read it. As a primer, I think it's a pretty good book. What I especially like about it is that it has a pleasantly tool/purpose agnostic approach. Not that it does not introduce the underlying pen based structure of latin type through text and an exercise. But instead of just introducing the broad nipped pen and text type as the holy grail, it provides a lot of other (good) examples of how to approach the design and use of letters (not only type, but letters in general); lettering, display, script, etc.
If the intent of the book is to open up the field of type design to newcomers and to invite to creativity, I think it is doing it quite well.

hrant's picture

I recently received a copy of the book, and have been looking through it. First of all, my "one page per contributor" assumption was way off; the contributions are not integral/sequential, they're intertwined in the content of the book - which is not surprising, and actually a relief.

The book is quite nice. Small in size, but not at all skimpy. It leans a bit towards the display end of the type spectrum, but nonetheless contains decent technical discussions. I can see how it would be a great eye-opener for people wanting to get into type design, and I think it can work very well in supporting a type design course. It really has a little bit of [almost] everything, so it nicely reveals how large this iceberg is.

But since no review is complete without at least a gripe: the text size is a bit small; maybe 1/2 or 1 point larger (with less leading) would've been nicer.


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