Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Review: The Fundamentals of Typography

As I've mentioned in a few recent posts, I've been spending some time thinking about e-readers, and reading up on things like typography and the ebook format. Anyhow, while the last typography book that I read was interesting, it wasn't the soup-to-nuts book on "all things typographical" I needed.

What I was looking for, as it turns out, was The Fundamentals of Typography, by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris.

This is a very wide-ranging look at type. The authors touch on everything from the history of written communication to adaptation of type to computer screens, from the structure of character sets to the layout of pages, etc. All of this presented in a way that is accessible, and not so deep as to overwhelm. To top it off, the book is beautifully laid out.

My only critique - and it's small given how nice the rest of the book is - is that their treatment of the subject of type on computer screens is very short. I'd have liked them to go into detail on TrueType fonts and how they are rasterized, how font hinting is done, issues with anti-aliasing, etc.

Apart from this one downside, this is an excellent primer for anyone to refresh/acquire a good working knowledge of typography.

No comments: