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Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
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Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,440 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
A guide to typography. It draws in the reader with its design and layout, making use of more than 200 illustrations and photographs. It explains in everyday layman's terms what type is and how you can use it to enhance legibility, meaning, and aesthetic enjoyment. It also includes chapters on Web typography and other forms of online text display.
Paperback, Second Edition, 208 pages
Published July 25th 2002 by Adobe Press (first published 1993)
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Richard Derus
Nov 18, 2012 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Description: A classic guide to typography -- now updated for the Web -- More than 200 full-color illustrations and photographs bring the discussion of typography to life.

-- Updated to include new material on Web typography and other forms of online text display.

This classic typography book, first published in 1993, is now updated with brand-new typefaces, fonts, and illustrations. Internationally renowned graphic designer Erik Spiekermann explains in everyday terms wh
Jul 16, 2015 spoko rated it did not like it
Spiekermann and Ginger have, essentially, nothing to say. Unfortunately, they spend over 150 pages saying it. The worst of it is that there are all kinds of color photos, headings, etc., so the book is printed on heavy, glossy paper. This is bad because (a) glossy paper is hard to read text on (as ANY designer should know) and (b) both heavy/glossy paper and color inks are expensive. Thus, you must pay $20 for a book that could very easily be condensed into a $1.50 pamphlet.

This book is often to
Dec 17, 2009 eq rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Crazy people
Recommended to eq by: CDIA
I thought this book was going to give me a seizure. There were so many different fonts, images, margins... Did I mention fonts? They were everywhere. I get the point (or pica) - font matters. But did you have to put it everywhere? I can only look at "Handgloves" so many times in so many ways and mixed up in the overall book was just confusing.

Font. Sigh.

And what was up with the information in small, red font in the left margins? I couldn't make up my mind about what to read. Should I read the
Feb 26, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: graphic designers
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Amazon
If you are interested in typography, but maybe weren't taught much about it in say, art school, then you'll love this book. Every page was a wonderful introduction to something I simply didn't know, but was completely captivated by...rather, many pages were - I do know what a descender is and how to tell a sanserif from a serif. I'm no idiot.

But, I'd recommend this to every graphic designer and type-nut.

I'm definitely putting it on my essential reading list for my Fundamentals of Graphic Design
Deane Barker
Dec 29, 2014 Deane Barker rated it it was ok
I can't recommend this book. It's a little ironic that the biggest problem with a book on type is its format.

The book is divided into chapters, but each one is essentially a collection of mini-essays. In each two-page spread, the left page is an image of some kind, meant to illustrate what the right page is discussing. A couple problems:

* There are no headings. Since each two-page spread is a mini-essay that is meant to stand alone, a heading summarizing what's under discussion would have been h
Aug 03, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok
Meh. I think this would be good if you didn't know anything about typography. But if you've at least heard of kerning or x-height (even if you don't know/remember what they mean), I would move onto something more complicated. Not a whole lot of concrete information and a lot of touchy-feely conversations about how different typefaces are happy or sad.
Jul 04, 2009 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books. It is a strange mix of graphic art and philosophy.
Niel Malan
Very nice little book about what type is supposed to do for you.
Oct 23, 2016 Philip rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Mildly useful introduction to typography. Far too much time spent describing obvious things type can do - convey emotion, increase legibility - with not enough on how.

In typical 'academics write a book for the layperson' style, filled with some of the worst metaphors. 'Type is like...traffic. No, no...type is like your family! It's like your family in a car stuck in traffic!'
Dec 10, 2016 Alice rated it it was amazing
Typography addressed clearly in an entertaining voice. Great reference.
Jun 02, 2013 Andy rated it liked it
A coffee-table book about typeface design. Very introductory and light in content, but there are nice visuals and some interesting tidbits in the sidebars. I enjoyed the comparisons of typefaces and their histories, particularly those that were applied to specific purposes - industrial signage, newspapers, etc. Sometimes terms are used before they are defined (such as "x-height") or are not defined at all ("tracking" is spacing between letters), which is a problem. There are some good observatio ...more
Amy Brown
I picked this up at a used book store to add to my reference shelf. It's a very readable overview of the world of typefaces, including discussion of history, different styles of typefaces, how to choose a typeface, and line spacing, tracking and kerning. It's more conversation than the last book on typefaces I read Thinking with Type: A Primer for Deisgners: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students but less loaded with information. That might be good - Thinking with Type ...more
Sep 13, 2012 Mirna rated it liked it
Shelves: design-books
Interesting book! For a beginner typographer, it is pretty good. I think the focus of the book is to tell you what typeface goes where, which it has done successfully by illustrating some quite interesting examples. Then again, some pages of the book got too basic I had to skip them, and the bad thing about them is that they appeared at a point in the book where you've already done so much progress. My only problems with the book was the layout of the book itself - I realize that they need to gi ...more
Bogi Takács
A fun beginner book about typography, but very basic; though in some places (especially toward the end) I felt it was very opaque and if I hadn't known the information already, I would've been hopelessly confused. The last few chapters were a bit of a slog, the approach of trying to explain everything via analogy to cars, rooms etc. didn't quite work for me - I usually really like analogy, but here I felt it was distracting from why typography is interesting in itself. Then again, I am a nerd an ...more
Deniz Cem Önduygu
Oct 22, 2011 Deniz Cem Önduygu rated it liked it
Recommends it for: design amateurs/students
I was expecting a better book from Spiekermann, both as content and form. It's so full of metaphors that it can barely find space to directly discuss type. I learned a few things here and there, but this is mainly a book for design amateurs/students.

The book was first published in 1993 and although this second edition is dated 2003 it still feels quite old, with its own editorial design, the examples in it and all those featured typefaces from the 1990s. I mean, you don't even have Gotham (2000)
Mar 08, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it
A great primer for the typo novice, as far as I can tell, being a novice myself. This book is full of demonstrations of the principles it describes, which are jarring and challenged me to grow new parts of my brain to parse the previously subliminal effect fonts have on me. I tend to point fonts out a lot, and have not learned where the middle ground is where one can do this without annoying people. Anyway, Im happily on the road to nerdom and will never steal sheep again.
Carolina Ferreira
It is a good book for beginners in Typography and early Design students.
Approaches many aspects of Typography in a light manner, not truly developing any of the ideas it mentions.

I found the layout annoying, for the interesting parts of the text are in small colored text, as if they were mere footnotes or comments on the main text. It was specially bad in Chapter 9, which color is light green. Bad legibility for a book about Typography!
Dec 20, 2013 Loucaspapa rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
I read "Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works" during a 3h flight.
Spiekerman manages to convey his mindset and thoughts over typography in a brief and humorous manner, without compromising on substance.
Don't expect a hands-on book, but rather a book that will lay-on the foundations for your further involvement with typography. A must read for all the laymen with typography out there!
Jul 03, 2007 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: designers and font fanatics
awesome!! part typographical manual, part wit, part graphic illustration, this was a really fun and quite informative read. it would make a splendid resource for the history of type, the different uses, examples, etc. etc. good for all types of designers (no pun intended). learned new things that would've been helpful while working at spec.
Aug 20, 2007 R.Friend rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, typography
Mandatory reading in second year graphic design studies, and rightly so, as it's a relatively basic introduction to the fundamental rules of typography. Or more specifically, the ones you're really, really not supposed to break. Ever.

In that regard, it's a bit more accessible to some; but it's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the finer points of typography.
Jun 02, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it
Excellent book... As an introduction to type. I had heard good things about this book for years and finally got around to reading it. Was somewhat disappointed, yet happy, to find I knew most of what was presented. Great tidbits of info are contained in the sidebar set in the color red. Would recommend as a short easy go read primer on type.
Aug 03, 2014 H.d. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
Através de uma série de metáforas o autor passa por alguns dos temas básicos da tipografia. Da legibilidade à expressividade do tipo. Além de bem ilustrado dá referência (mesmo que superficial) de boas práticas para diagramação e uso da tipografia. Livro de leitura rápida e prazeirosa :) É pra ler de uma sentada só :)
Apr 18, 2010 Tricia rated it it was ok
A basic primer for those who perhaps haven't worked with type often; not illuminating for those who work with type frequently and want to explore it in-depth. Engagingly written, but with little substance beyond basic design foundations.
Matthew Herring
Jun 28, 2009 Matthew Herring rated it really liked it
A very solid first look at the Fundamental rules of typography, geared toward those who are just getting their feet wet. This was the second book on type I was introduced to, in my Intermediate Typography class, and it stuck with me better than the first book on type I ever read.
Peter Peerdeman
Jul 25, 2013 Peter Peerdeman rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. It has a lot of timeless examples, good argumentation for and against certain typefaces in certain situations and a lot of humor. It reads like a novel while explaining a lot of typography traits and gives an insight into the mind of herr Spiekermann himself.
Apr 13, 2008 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freshman year of art school I thought this book was completely ridiculous (without having even cracked it open). Three years and one incredible instructor later, I was sold. I refer to this book all the time now...
Conor Muirhead
Mar 02, 2010 Conor Muirhead rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: designers, particularly those just starting out
Shelves: design, typography
Excellent book for some foundational advice on typography. I enjoyed the practical approach of illustrating everything with lots of asides for explanation. Also some good humour in the book too.
Nov 16, 2009 Matt rated it did not like it
With all the high ratings I was expecting a bit more from this book. Or maybe I am frustrated by the lousy type in the addition I was reading. Six point type in cyan or magenta is a tad hard to read.
May 13, 2008 Belacqua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book doesn't explain how to fine-tune kerning in Illustrator or how to tell Arial from Helvetica. But there is hardly a better one to learn the really important lessons about typography from.
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