When exploring a new topic or discovering a new passion, many people choose to scroll the internet, but a few (those who want to go the traditional route) choose to read books to gain more knowledge about a certain topic of interest. Today, let’s look for some typography books that as a graphic designer, you need.
Before we get into that, however, let’s discuss Typography. Typography is an important foundation of graphic design. It is one of the first principles students new to graphic design learn. It is vital to the practice and there is so much to learn about it. From the design of the characters, their purposes, the types of typefaces, and using them in layouts. Reading the following books on Typography, which may include tips and tricks, can help speed up the process.
First up, Thinking With Type by Ellen Lupton. Thinking with Type is one of the quintessential books on typography. Lupton covers a wide range of topics from the basics, like the difference between a font and a typeface, to the differences between type classifications. As with Lupton’s other books, this one is full of timeless visual examples that follow along with the principles she writes about. Although this book focuses on the practical uses of typography the book does include examples of the experimental types.
Next, we have Designing With Type: The Essential Guide To Typography by James Craig & Irene Korol Scala. Designing with Type is the ultimate beginner’s guide to typography. Craig and Korol Scala break down each principle of typography, like usable font sizes, formatting paragraphs, and basic type layouts. This book walks new designers through all of the basics of typography that a lot of other books skim through. Designing with Type is the also best visual reference guide. It uses lots of visuals to diagram ways to style, format, and layout text, create different levels of typographic hierarchy, and how to pair different types of fonts.
Thirdly, we have Designers Dictionary of Type by Sean Adams. This book follows a similar format in using specimens to highlight the historical and cultural significance of different typefaces. This book primarily focuses on the use of various typefaces like Helvetica, Garamond, and Cooper and how their designs convey different emotions, moods, and feelings.
Just My Type by Simon Garfield is another book that discusses typography with the context of typefaces. It’s also much less visual. I added this book to the list because Simon Garfield discusses how the designs of a few specific typefaces influenced the ways they’re used and how they’re perceived. One specific typeface he discusses is the infamous Comic Sans, and no, he does not hate it.
Lastly, we have The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. Another quintessential typography book is Bringhurst’s Elements of Style. He discusses the purposes of niched characters like the interrobang, maximizing usability and readability of text in print and on screens, and even how to format type on screen. Although this book is the most intimidating, it is one of the most valuable books a graphic designer can have in their collection.
To sum this up, there are plenty of online resources where you can learn and truly understand the depths of typography, however, the 5 books listed above just have a way of creating a connection and relating it to your experience.