Monday, October 25, 2010

JUST MY TYPE - A Book About Fonts

Simon Garfield
Profile Books - Hardback - NZ$36.99
A note from the author:
When I started writing this book, several people warned me that it would ruin my life. They said I wouldn't be able to read an advertisement or walk past a shop front without identifying the fonts, and if I couldn't I would curse and not rest until I'd solved the dilemma. I thought they were exaggerating. But unfortunately the bastards were right. And seeing as everyone wants to know, my favourite fonts are Albertus and Bodoni Ultra Bold, with Georgia for text. My most loathed is Papyrus (the Avatar font) and the typeface for the London 2012 Olympics. That's this week anyway.
Simon Garfield

Whether you’re enraged by IKEA’s Verdanagate, want to know what the Beach Boys have in common with easyJet or why it’s ok to like Comic Sans, Just My Type will have the answer. LEARN WHY USING UPPER CASE GOT A NEW ZEALAND HEALTH WORKER SACKED. Refer to Prince in the TAFKAP years as a Dingbat (that works on many levels). Spot where movies get their time periods wrong and don’t be duped by fake posters on eBay. Simon Garfield meets the people behind the typefaces and along the way learns why some fonts - like men - are from Mars and some are from Venus. From type on the high street and album covers, to the print in our homes and offices, Garfield is the font of all types of knowledge. Just My Type is for those who know they care about type, and, crucially, everyone else who didn't quite know they had an interest in or opinion about fonts, until someone mentions the T in Beatles, or German blackletter, or the story of Baskerville, or the sign on the moon (Futura), or the link between Benjamin Franklin and Lady Gaga.
The Bookman has to say he was totally fsacinated by this book and I reckon that every publisher, book designer, bookseller, book reviewer, librarian and indeed booklovers everywhere will find it very difficult to put down once they pick it up and start reading. It reveals what may be the veery best and worst fonts in the world - and what your choice of fonts says about you.
Seek this one out, you will not be sorry. And for a chunky hardback of 352 pages, a great price. I loved it and am delighted to have it on my bookshelf.

About the author:
Simon Garfield writes for the Observer about science, health and the arts. He is a former editor of Time Out, and his book The End of Innocence won the Somerset Maugham Prize. He has written and edited twelve books, including bestselling Mass Observation diaries.

Here's a good clip of Simon talking about book covers:

And a column in The Guardian on fonts.

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