Sunday 25 February 2024

Book Review: Universal Principles of Typography (Non-Fiction)

Title: Universal Principles of Typography
Author: Elliot Jay Stocks
Publisher: Rockport Publishing
Publication Date: 16 April 2023
Pages: 224
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Explore 100 key concepts, theories, and guidelines that are critical for choosing and using type.

We communicate with text every single day, but what does it mean to really understand type—to use it with clear intent and purpose? The art and science of typography combines subtle tweaks to line lengths with harmonious combinations of weights and styles; considered typeface pairings with a robust set of alternate characters; exciting technological advances with the realities of font licensing. There are so many ways designers can optimize how text is read and influence the way its message is understood—and yet so many designers miscommunicate without even realizing it.

Richly illustrated and easy to navigate,
Universal Principles of Typography pairs clear explanations  of each principle with visual examples of it applied in practice. By considering these concepts and examples, you can learn to make more informed, and ultimately better, typography decisions.

Building upon tried-and-tested principles from the world of print through to the very latest advances in browser technology, this book will equip you with everything you need to make the most informed typographic decisions in your design work today.

Featured principles are as diverse
Each principle is presented in a two-page format. The left-hand page contains a succinct definition, a full description of the principle, examples of its use, and guidelines for use. Sidenotes appear to the right of the text, and provide elaborations and references. The right-hand page contains visual examples and related graphics to support a deeper understanding of the principle.

Universal Principles of Typography, gain a deep understanding of the universal principles of typography and learn how to apply them across any work you do with type, from the simplest of documents to the most complex of cross-platform design systems.


Universal Principles of Typography was a useful and informative volume that covered all aspects of typography and typographical design. The earlier part of the book looked at the nitty gritty of typeface, from what makes up a typeface to how to combine different typefaces for the best effect. The latter part of the book was less interesting to me personally with it's focus on CSS and licensing fonts, but that would be of use to anyone working in a role that requires company branding and webdesign elements. Overall, the book was well presented with a nice layout and clear explanations, and I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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