Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I really want to learn the basics of type. However, there are so many books on the subject that I get overwhelmed while searching.

share|improve this question
    
Since you are polling the community to create a list of answers, I am converting this to community wiki. –  Robert Cartaino Dec 29 '10 at 15:42
add comment

10 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are two books I would recommend

  1. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. Simply a must read
  2. Grid Systems by Josef Muller Brockman. Not typographically centered but really good at getting an understand about type in a broader context.
share|improve this answer
    
In addition to the implementation and usage of the typographic grid, Grid Systems also covers quite a lot about the fundamentals of typography (e.g. margins, leading, kerning, paragraph spacing, folios, etc.). I would highly recommend it for new designers. –  Lèse majesté Dec 29 '10 at 12:30
    
Thanks a lot guys! :) –  Matthew Dec 30 '10 at 2:29
add comment

This one is kind of old, but it's outstanding. To those desiring the basics it's a good fit:

The Mac is not a Typewriter by Robin Williams (link points to product page on Amazon).

There is an edition called "The PC is not..." also, but the classic work that many other people recommend is the Mac one.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Meet Your Type by FontShop is a pretty decent quick and free guide to the basics, which explains a lot of common terms (like cap height, x height, counter, points, families, kerning, leading, etc.), how to choose the right font and make it work and so on. It's only a 52 page PDF with lots of graphics, so if you really want to get into typography and learn about it, it's probably not a good choice. But for a quick introduction if you just want to get familiar with the basics, it's worth checking out.

share|improve this answer
add comment
  1. Thinking with type is an excellent introduction and is the most modern.
  2. Designing with type is a nice complement to it and a good reference as well.

They're always nearby on my shelf.

share|improve this answer
add comment

To add to the list, Stop Stealing Sheep and Find out How Type Works is also a great read. http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Stealing-Sheep-Find-Works/dp/0672485435

share|improve this answer
add comment

This one is about typography in books, but the knowledge can be applied to screens as well: The Form of the Book by Jan Tschichold.

Read the readers comments for more details. The introduction is from Bringhurst, whose book in essential too because it covers so much.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Here are a few that I have in my collection that have some good information.

  • The Elements of Typographic Style
  • The TeXbook
  • While You're Reading
  • Idea Index: Graphic Effects and Typographic Treatments
  • Exploring Typography
  • Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students

You can find all of these on Amazon or at B&N Hope this helps and good luck

share|improve this answer
add comment

I found The Complete Manual of Typography does an excellent job of unpacking complex knowledge in an elegant manner. (Link to Amazon)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Introductory reading:

Robin Williams: The Non-Designer's Design Book

It shows step by step how to apply simple principles (contrast, alignment, repetition, proximity) and use color/fonts to get a clear design for a business card, for example.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.