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Type: The Secret History of Letters
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Type: The Secret History of Letters

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  7 reviews
If you've ever wondered exactly what a Zapf is, or if Baskerville has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, Type is the answer to these questions and more. This is the story of the passions, and obsessions of the creator of type; of the influences of wars, persecution, and political upheaval, and the effects of business and technological breakthroughs on fonts and typograph
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 12th 2006 by I. B. Tauris (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 234)
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Ah, the poverty of Times New Roman . . .: Even though I'm not a typographer or type-designer, when I began engaging in desktop publishing a decade ago and sought out guidance for the decisions I suddenly had to make, I became interested in the history and minutiae of fonts and letterforms for their own sake. Also, in pursuit of a master's degree in library science more than thirty years ago, I took an elective in the "History of Books and Printing," so the background knowledge was already there. ...more
Julie Bozza
A brilliant book about typography and the people who've designed it, from Gutenberg and the others involved in creating printing, to the present, with some brief, interesting speculation about the future. I was most interested in the analysis along the way of different fonts and styles, and in how (as with any human endeavour) they have been influenced by individual personalities through to world-sized events.

While I wasn't mad keen on the cover of this edition, it made its point. The wonderful
I finished it!

The writing's fine, I suppose. And for a book about type and typesetting, it's a pretty finely designed paperback.

But... there's nothing "secret" about this book.... Most of it is simply untold because it's not all that interesting.

I am able to recognize and contextualize many more fonts now, though. It's not worthless, but it was a slog to get though some of this.
Keli Rylance
Simultaneous Reading: As I found this coupled with Alexander Lawson's "Anatomy of a Typeface" was more enjoyable than as individual books: they augment one another. Simon Loxley, a graphic designer, dramatizes key typographic innovations through the personalities of the designers. Featured: Edward Johnston's letters for the London Underground; Jan Tschischold's New Typography.
Oct 18, 2007 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of type
Shelves: design
This book covers everything from the development of Movable Type, the Private Press Movement, 21st Century type and all the fonts in between. Fun to read...if your into that kind of thing.
Lee Hunter
Jan 03, 2009 Lee Hunter marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
this book is one of those single issue history books about type and the people who created the first typefaces. it's interesting so far, we'll see what happens.
Font history!
Gavin Williams
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Simon Loxley is a graphic designer and writer on design, typography and design history.
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