Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Butterick's Practical Typography” as Want to Read:
Butterick's Practical Typography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Butterick's Practical Typography

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  31 reviews
ebook, Online, 200 pages
Published 2013 by Matthew Butterick
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Butterick's Practical Typography, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Butterick's Practical Typography

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  207 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Butterick's Practical Typography

A mixed bag for me that …

  can only be read online

  contains numerous plugs for fonts designed by the author
      (and how to buy those)

 + contains most if not all relevant topics re: typography

 + is written in a clear, concise, and comprehensible manner

 + is sometimes witty (but sometimes too harsh)

This sums up to 3 pro and 2 cons, so I give it three stars.

Recommended to any writer who is unsure about how to give their texts a professional look.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Comm
Jose Hernandez
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are a number of reasons I decided to give this book five stars:

1.The book can be read for free at practicaltypography.com

2.It truly is a treatise on typography and the information given is of the utmost practicality

3.Matthew Butterick is taking part in an experiment I believe in. That is that the web can be a successful publishing platform for books

If you are an aspiring typographer or your given profession requires any type of writing, this book will be of great value to you.
Jonathan Hiskes
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly engrossing online book about typography. Butterick argues that anyone who writes should care a little and know a little about typography, since it affects how readers perceive their work. I'll never underline heading text again. ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even remember how I was originally pointed to Butterick's, but it has served me well for years. I frequently use it as a reference, but this is the first time I've gone back and read the whole thing.

I was genuinely looking forward to rereading in anticipation of my place of work's rebranding project. We're taking the opportunity to standardize and improve our forms, templates, and other paperwork, and I am so very excited by the prospect of functional, readable, non-hideous documents! (T
Daniel Hiland
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Great reference for those of us who need to think outside the box, when it comes to typography. Though it's free online (or was at the time of this review), I would have been willing to pay for it. And why? Because it's a thorough, but concise, primer on typography: its history, significance, aesthetic value, and effect on readability. The one advantage to only having it online, is the ease of navigation. Internal hyperlinks abound, making it easy to jump from one place to another in the text. B ...more
Nov 04, 2022 rated it liked it
Some nice tips for beginners, i ges.
I would call it “How to make yur Word documents look not ugly”.
Sure, absolutely do not use straight quotation marks, &c. &c.
Very prescriptive. Some bits ar questionable at best. For a horizontal line, it says to tipe a string of underscores. No. Go hunt for the horizontal line or rule option in the menus. Insisting on unspaced em-dashes – no. Use spaced en-dashes. Using italicized straight quotes for prime and double prime (0.9144 m, 25.4 mm) is creative, but
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Clear, accessible, and concise. With just the right amount of humour to be perfectly readable, this is an excellent primer for practical typography. Butterick makes the case for small changes that can make an enormous difference to the presentation of all kinds of text documents, and, on the strength of the book I purchased one of his fonts, and fully intend to come back for more.
John Girgis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A little too decisive some times, but I can say that there are no mistakes that I know of in here. Fantastic summary that sits somewhere between pushing design forward and paying homage to its pedigree.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clear, concise, full of practical and illuminating examples about how to use typography to communicate and enhance your message.
Manas Saloi
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cameron Blandford
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read! Informative, concise, and very practical. Excited to put the lessons I've learned to use in the near future. ...more
Phin Jensen
A really great, no-nonsense introduction to why typography matters and how to improve it in your own writing. Would recommend to almost anyone.
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
Took me a while to get through this but solid -- if not rather opinionated -- intro to typography with lots of helpful tips.
Christin White
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a truly exceptional book on typography and I enjoyed every minute of it. Matthew’s direction is clear and detailed while his historical and contextual information helps keep things interesting. What surprised me most was how broad his subject is; going well beyond design details into grammar, how to improve typography in Office products as well as best practices for web typography.

Initially, I was a little bit annoyed by his insistence to produce no ePub version and having to read the b
Michael Burnam-Fink
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
Do you get a little frisson of pleasure from the way serifs draw your eyes across the page? Does improper kerning make you irritable? Do you vandalize notices made in Comic Sans? If so, this book might be for you.

Butterick's argument is that typography matters. Good typography, defined as the visual component of the written word, conserves the reader's attention, helps your work stand out, and is an art worth practicing in and of itself. The problem is that the world is full of bad typography, f
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
My takeaways: use Helvetica (if you use system fonts, choose from the excellent A list here); if able, two inch margins and one point lower font size; 45-90 char line lengths; word processors have lots of cool features like "keep with next" and "page break before"; feel free to experiment with your preference settings in Word; for hierarchical lists do like 1, 1.1, 1.2, 3, 3.1...; never underline headings (I knew that); you can use font styles to avoid having to plug in the same settings each in ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved everything about this on-line book. I've been mildly interested in typography for years, but only as a dabbler: I love a proper em dash, end sentences with only a single space, keep an eye out for attractive layouts to emulate, and, of course, avoid comic sans. This book helps crystalize things I've mused about, and explains why some design decisions work and others don't. It also gives me a great foundation to use as a teacher whose students do most of their work via keyboard. Eighth grad ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite design book I've ever read. Given, I'm not a designer (I'm a computer scientist and software engineer, which is mostly the opposite of what 'design' normally means) but I do have a strong passion for typography in particular and design in general.

Each section was quick and straightforward, immediately inviting me to tinker on something and feel the power of what Butterick had discussed. I always loved that the text had personality both in the typography but also from the auth
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-design
The best part of this book is that it is free, and it's about typography. I have struggled with typography in my design and it is nice to learn more about it. I like how Butterick breaks down the very differences between dashes, hyphens and others. I love the tips and tricks and his explanation for why he used what he used with regards to type, programming and software for this book. I wish I could purchase a hard cover/paperback of this book, because I believe every designer should have it as a ...more
Simon Vindum
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great book on typography. It contains a lot of helpful advice that does the title justice. The language is concise and to the point. New knowledge is introduced at a satisfying pace throughout the book.

It is clear that the author is very skilled in his field. I did however grow tired of his elitist tone throughout the book. At first I found it entertaining. But after a while I didn't care for the reiterations of how the author thinks everyone, reader included, is completely ignorant wi
Danielius (Debesyla)
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I would have to reccomend one book on typography for absolute begginers - this would be the one.

Seriously, every designer (especialy web or anything connecting to text) and every blogger and writer that doesn't use profesionally created blog themes should read this.

I read it. I loved it.

Oh, and the design of this web book... Was bloody amazing. I was literally waiting every day just to come back to this book and enjoy reading it. Superb!
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous, arts
There is nothing really new about it. but it's a great book for those who doesn't know anything about typography and have to deal with words everyday. I knew about 70% of this book. Although it was really good to read them again and learn some new things. ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-design
Excellent. Easy to understand for those who are new to typography and design, and solid information for those what are already familiar with typography and design. It's available for free (donation requested) at www.practicaltypography.com. ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It’s not often that I read a book that fills me with the need to make everything around me better. “Practical Typography” has done that and taught me a lot while being entertaining.

Great read for everyone, even those who’d never consider it.
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well written and informative, with excellent design.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, work, non-fiction
An excellent resource for anyone who wants their writing to look professional.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very educational, and written in a tone that is both encouraging and entertainingly snooty.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"An excellent online book that I found to be just the right depth" – read my full recommendation on my blog. ...more
Daniel Meese
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you create documents—or type at all, really—you should read and reference this.
Kivilcim Kokbil
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Must read book for the typography lovers. Matthew explains very essentials topics well. It's practical as he mentioned. ...more
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Thinking with Type
  • The Elements of Typographic Style
  • A Moveable Feast
  • Tao Te Ching
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Beowulf
  • The Design of Everyday Things
  • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)
  • Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing
  • Atomic Design
  • Moby-Dick or, the Whale
  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
  • The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
  • Beren and Lúthien
  • They Called Us Enemy
  • Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

  With more than 5.7 million votes cast and counted, the 14th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards are now official. Launched in 2009,...
107 likes · 47 comments