Just My Type by Simon Garfield
A Book About Fonts

82%

19 Critic Reviews

Whether you're a graphic designer or a layperson with no background in this area, reading what Garfield has to say will change the way you perceive the written word forever.
-LA Times

Synopsis

A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you?

Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)?

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the "T" in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. A must-have book for the design conscious, Just My Type's cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Schott's Original Miscellany.

 

About Simon Garfield

See more books from this Author
Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of nonfiction, including Just My Type and On the Map. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall.
 
Published September 1, 2011 by Gotham. 356 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, History. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 25 2011
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Critic reviews for Just My Type
All: 19 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 3

Guardian

Good
on Oct 02 2011

This book won't just turn readers into avid font-spotters; it will also nudge them towards admiring the beauty of a single letter or a well-drawn ampersand.

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Guardian

Good
on Dec 07 2010

Garfield's particular strength is in characterising the men and women...behind so many different typefaces.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on May 23 2011

...Garfield's evocative prose...entices us to see letters instead of just reading them.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
on Sep 15 2011

...accessible, humorous, and memorable. After reading it you really won't look at words in the same way again.

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Blog Critics

Good
on Sep 06 2011

After reading this book I will never look at signs the same way again.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
on Aug 29 2011

Who knew font trivia could be so much fun? Simon Garfield did, and Just My Type makes the subject come alive in ways I never thought possible.

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Star Tribune

Below average
on Sep 02 2011

...he mixed his authoritative pieces on the latest trends in the world of type geeks with an attempt to write a clever historical review, hoping to reach a broad general audience -- and wound up missing the entire barn.

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National Post arts

Good
on Oct 21 2011

Put down Just My Type, and you will notice the rugged Neuland Inline in the Jurassic Park logo, the ultra-modern Futura in Volkswagen ads, the Gotham on Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster of Barack Obama...

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LA Times

Excellent
on Sep 11 2011

Whether you're a graphic designer or a layperson with no background in this area, reading what Garfield has to say will change the way you perceive the written word forever.

Read Full Review of Just My Type: A Book About Fonts | See more reviews from LA Times

The Telegraph

Excellent
on Oct 15 2010

If you have ever looked at the drop-down menu in Word and wondered what a Garamond is, or what’s meant to be new about Times New Roman, Garfield will be just your type.

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USA Today

Good

Garfield is to be credited for taking what many would consider a dull subject and making it shine. You'll even chuckle on occasion

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The Seattle Times

Above average
on Aug 27 2011

One disappointment: There's no mention of non-Roman writing — pictographs (like Chinese or Japanese), Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.

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Huntington News

Above average
on Sep 19 2012

Maybe we have way too much time on our hands, enabling some of us to obsess about fonts.

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Cleveland.com

Above average
on Sep 21 2012

Readers who understand the contradiction of a Comic Sans rant and people who thrill to "Helvetica," a documentary about the typeface, will enjoy Simon Garfield's love letter to typography...

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St. Louis Today

Excellent
on Aug 28 2011

...dandy reading. As one of Garfield's sources says (albeit in a different context), "For a type lover, it's like porn."

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Arts Fuse

Good
on May 16 2012

...a rollicking, sometimes snarky social history of the design decisions behind lettering from Gutenberg to the iPad.

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The Moderate Voice

Excellent
on Oct 31 2011

...a quick, quirky, elucidating, pun drenched and often hilarious read...

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Tristin Hopper on Oct 21 2011

Put down Just My Type, and you will notice the rugged Neuland Inline in the Jurassic Park logo, the ultra-modern Futura in Volkswagen ads...

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Guys Lit Wire

Good
on Sep 26 2011

Garfield proves a lively and opinionated guide to the world of fonts, so if you're at all interested in fonts and typography, this is very much worth a look.

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Reader Rating for Just My Type
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Franco Folini 7 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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