Type is Beautiful: The Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts

Author(s): Simon Loxley

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Behind every typeface is a story - who designed it, and why? What are its distinctive characteristics, and what cultural baggage does it carry? This book explores fifty of the most remarkable typefaces, dating from the birth of European printing in the fifteenth century (and the type used in the Gutenberg Bible - the first significant book to be printed in Europe) to the present day. It features key examples in the aesthetic development of typography (Caslon, Baskerville, Bodoni) and those fonts which have made a significant impact on the wider world. Many fonts have added style to something culturally important (such as Johnston Sans on the London Underground), or assumed a cultural significance of their own, sometimes by accident. The designer of Comic Sans, for example, created the typeface for use in speech bubbles for a Microsoft programme, never expecting it to become one of the world's favourite - and also most maligned - fonts. Through the fonts this book also examines the often colourful lives of the key designers in the evolution of typography: Johannes Gutenberg, William Caslon, Nicolas Jenson, Stanley Morison and William Morris, among others - including one who threw his unique set of metal type into the Thames to prevent others from misusing it - and the enduring influence they have had on print culture. Of equal appeal to general readers, designers and typographers, this book is a vibrant cultural guide to the aesthetic choices we make in order to spread the word.


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Simon Loxley is a freelance graphic designer, writer and editor.

Introduction Glossary 1. Gutenberg's 42-line Bible 2. Nicolas Jenson 3. Aldine italics 4. Fraktur 5. Caslon 6. Caslon's 'English Arabick' 7. Baskerville 8. Bodoni 9. Robert Thorne 10. Pouchee 11. Two Lines English 12. Braille 13. Robert Bell 14. Wild West 15. Typewriter 16. Golden 17. Doves 18. Arnold Bocklin 19. Cloister Black 20. Centaur 21. Souvenir 22. Goudy Old Style 23. Underground Railway 24. Cooper Black 25. Garamond 26. Arrighi 27. Neuland 28. Broadway 29. Futura 30. Gill 31. Times 32. Peignot 33. Stencil 34. SuperVeloz 35. Helvetica 36. Calypso 37. Transport 38. Antique Olive 39. Data 70 40. Bloody Horror 41. Arcadia 42. Mason 43. NatWest 44. Comic Sans 45. Amanar 46. Channel 4 47. Guardian Egyptian 48. Piel 49. Lushootseed 50. Zulia Further reading Index

General Fields

  • : 9781851244317
  • : Bodleian Library
  • : Bodleian Library
  • : June 2016
  • : 216mm X 138mm
  • : July 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Simon Loxley
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 686.22409
  • : 288
  • : 50 black white illustrations