Type is Beautiful

The Story of Fifty Remarkable Fonts

Simon Loxley

Type is Beautiful

Simon Loxley

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

288 pages | 50 halftones | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781851244317 Published October 2016 For sale in North America only
Fonts are everywhere. You may even have a favorite serif or sans serif. But have you ever wondered who took the bold steps to create it? Behind every great font is a great story, and, in this fascinating cultural history, graphic designer and design writer Simon Loxley covers more than five hundred years in the history of typography—from the oldest printed typeface used in the Gutenberg Bible right up to the present day.

Type is Beautiful traces the history of fifty remarkable fonts. Thoroughly researched and visually exciting, it takes readers through the story of each font’s creation and distinct characteristics, as well as why it succeeded or failed. Some of the fonts were commissioned for major commercial or cultural projects. Edward Johnston’s iconic Johnston Sans, for instance, was created for the London Underground and remained there exclusively until a redesign in the 1980s. Other fonts became culturally significant unintentionally. The designer of the controversial Comic Sans created the typeface to fill the need for a font to fit the speech bubbles for a Microsoft program, never expecting it to become one of the world’s favorite—and most-maligned—fonts. Along the way, Loxley gives readers an unforgettable cast of characters, including Johannes Gutenberg, William Caslon, Nicolas Jenson, Stanley Morison, William Morris, and Thomas Cobden-Sanderson, the English artist and bookbinder who famously “bequeathed” the unique metal type created for his failed Doves Press to the Thames, casting the type into the river to prevent its future use.

Brimming with fascinating facts, Type is Beautiful is a highly informative and entertaining trip through a lesser-known aspect of history that turns out to have major significance for print and design culture. From Blackletter to Baskerville and Bodoni, you will find yourself looking at fonts with a newfound appreciation.
Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
 
Gutenberg’s Bible Type
Jenson’s Roman Type
The Aldine Italics
Fraktur
Garamond
Caslon
Caslon’s English Arabick
Baskerville
Bodoni
Fat Face Italic
Two Lines English Egyptian
Pouchée’s 18 Lines No. 2
Braille
Chinese Advertiser Characters
French Antique
Typewriter Faces
Golden Type
Doves Type
Arnold Böcklin
Cloister Black
Centaur
Goudy Old Style
London Underground
Souvenir
Cooper Black
Neuland
Arrighi
Future
Broadway
Gill Sans
Times New Roman
Peignot
Stencil
Super Veloz
Helvetica
Calypso
Transport
Antique Olive
Data 70
Bloody Hell
Arcadia
Mason
Natwest
Comic Sans
Amanar
Channel 4 Fonts
Guardian Egyptian
Piel Script
Lushootseed
Zulia
 
Bibliography
Picture Credits
Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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