Design by Elle

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Review: Designing with Type 5

Posted on March 22, 2009 / 0 Comments / Permalink

Designing with Type An excellent introduction to typography—useful to students learning typography, graphic design but also anyone else who handles type (off and online). The book seems to be designed to accompany James Craig’s teachings.

The book’s chapters are divided into:

  1. Basics of Typography
  2. Five Classic Typefaces
  3. Designing with Text Type
  4. Designing with Display Type
  5. Color
  6. Projects
  7. Traditional Skills
  8. Type Specimens
  9. References and Resources

Although there are many more typefaces and styles, Craig believes that by studying in detail the five classic typefaces—representing distinct stages in type evolution—that one can learn to discern typographic subtleties in typeface design over the centuries.

The book is also a good introduction to the field of press and printing and includes a very useful glossary. There is also a very comprehensive accompanying web site at:

An excerpt from the book I liked:

With this new wealth [methods to create visual designs] comes responsibility and the need for good judgement in selecting and setting the appropriate typeface for any given job. Designers can no longer rely upon the expertise of outside typesetting services and editorial input. Decisions that contribute to typographic excellence, such as spacing, kerning, hyphenation, and proper grammar have now become the designer’s responsibility‚Ķ Today it is a challenge for designers to be avoid being seduced by technology. As sophisticated as computer applications may be, they are only tools or the creative mind. Truly successful designs begin with ideas and concepts. As you execute your designs on the computer, your knowledge of typography combined with your trained eye and aesthetic judgement, will provide the path to the most creative solution.

Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography

  • Author: James Craig
  • Press: Watson-Guptill Publications
  • ISBN: 0-823-01347-2

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