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The Elements of Typographic Style The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
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“Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition: an essential act of interpretation, full of endless opportunities for insight or obtuseness.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Typographic style is founded not on any one technology of typesetting or printing, but on the primitive yet subtle craft of writing.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Logograms pose a more difficult question. An increasing number of persons and institutions, from archy and mehitabel to PostScript and TrueType, come to the typographer in search of special treatment.In earlier days it was kings and deities whose agents demanded that their names be written in a larger size or set in a specially ornate typeface; not it is business firms and mass-market products demanding an extra helping of capitals, or a proprietary face, and poets pleading, by contrast, to be left entirely in the vernacular lower case. But type is visible speech, in which gods and men, saints and sinners, poets and business executives are treated fundamentally alike . Typographers, in keeping with the virtue of their trade, honor the stewardship of texts and implicitly oppose private ownership of words.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Type designers are, at their best, the Stradivarii of literature: not merely makers of salable products, but artists who design and make the instruments that other artists use.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Actually, typefaces and racing bikes are very much alike. Both are ideas as well as machines, and neither should be burdened with excess drag or baggage. Pictures of pumping feet will not make the type go faster, any more than smoke trails, pictures of rocket ships or imitation lightning bolts tied to the frame will improve the speed of the bike.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“Logograms pose a more difficult question. An increasing number of persons and institutions, from archy and mehitabel to PostScript and TrueType, come to the the typographer in search of special treatment. In earlier days it was kings and deities whose agents demanded that their names be written in a larger size or set in a specially ornate typeface; now it is business firms and mass-market products demanding an extra helping of capitals, or a proprietary face, and poets pleading, by contrast, to be left entirely in the vernacular lower case. But type is visible speech, in which gods and men, saints and sinners, poets and business executives are treated fundamentally alike. Typographers, in keeping with the virtue of their trade, honor the stewardship of texts and implicitly oppose private ownership of words.

Logotypes and logograms push typography in the direction of hieroglyphics, which tend to be looked at rather than read. They also push it toward the realm of candy and drugs, which tend to provoke dependent responses, and away from the realm of food, which tends to promote autonomous being. Good typography is like bread: ready to be admired, appraised, and dissected before it is consumed.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
“An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns - but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style