Book Review | Just My Type
Author: Simon Garfield
I am officially a dork. I kind of suspected it when I saw Just My Type: a book about fonts and requested it for review. I mean, I totally loved Printshop; I still have the floppies (Am I showing my age here?) I cemented it when I would read snippets of it aloud to my husband. Yep. I was reading a book about fonts (AKA typography) and would read snippets of it to my husband. Luckily, he’s just as big a dork as me and so he didn’t mind.
Simon Garfield’s book, Just My Type, is an entertaining look at the history of typography beginning with Gutenberg to explaining with how Calibri ended up as the main typeface of Visa and Office 2007. He describes the nuances of lettering (space, serifs – or not, white space, etc) as well as histories of the original typographers. He travels the world and talks about how fonts can belong to a particular country and why they changed. Good and bad font choices, blunders, piracy, breaking the rules of readability and beauty are all topics that he tackles with finesse and fun. He ends, of course, with the 8 worst fonts ever.
Covering every facet of typography (or fonts) imaginable including why the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, Just My Type, was a surprisingly fun and easy read. If you are a design student or just someone who is interested in weird things, you’ll love this book. Beware, though. The author was quoted as saying,
“When I started writing this book, several people warned me that it would ruin my life. They said I wouldn’t be able to read an advertisement or walk past a shop front without identifying the fonts, and if I couldn’t I would curse and not rest until I’d solved the dilemma. I thought they were exaggerating. But unfortunately, the bastards were right.”
Yes, indeed. They even have me noticing typefaces on everything I see. This would be a great gift for that graphic designer or computer-loving person in your life.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*