Tuesday 3 July 2018

Book Review: Letterforms - Typeface Design from Past to Future by Timothy Samara

Title: Letterforms - Typeface Design from Past to Future
Author: Timothy Samara
Rockport - Quarto

Publication Date: 3 July 2018
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


Designer, author, educator Timothy Samara is a world authority on type and graphic design. His 2004 Rockport book, Typography Workbook has become an essential reference text for design classrooms and industry professionals.

Now, in Letterforms: The Design of Type, Past to Future he takes readers even deeper, expertly guiding them through the aesthetics as well as the technical considerations of his subject. He begins with an overview spanning the invention of movable type to today's digital typography, and ends with a showcase of contemporary fonts.

Samara's true focus in this book is conveying the essentials of type design to practitioners, and thoughtfully and thoroughly explaining and illustrating the development of form and style. He walks you through letter form anatomy, stroke formation and rhythm, tool methodologies, structure and proportion, tool methodologies, and tons more.

This all makes for one excellent, timely reference work that designers can return to in designing logos, wordmarks, signage, titling accents, and all of their graphic design work.

Letterforms is a wonderfully interesting read. Beginning with a detailed history of typography, the book goes on to look in-depth at the formation of letters and, from that, typefaces, and ends with a summation of some of the trends of the last twenty years. This is a work that will be of huge interest to graphic designers, but which will also appeal to the average layperson looking to learn more about the subject. I certainly found it fascinating, and as you would expect from a book on this subject, the pages are beautifully laid out. All in all, it is an informative and engaging read.

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