Just my type

At the moment I am reading Just My Type by Simon Garfield.

My copy has the second book jacket.

I heard about this book on The Book Show on ABC.  If you want to listen to the podcast you can do so here.  I have been interested in fonts since I did a sign writing course way back in the eighties, before people used computers to make signs!  After listening to the Book Show I bought a copy and I am finding it quite quirky.  The history of fonts has been written in a way that makes it amusing and interesting to read.

For example:

He talks about the ampersand: “Much of what one needs to know about the history and beauty of a font may be found in its ampersand.”

Talking about Baskerville, the inventor of the Baskerville font: “….he arranged for his own mausoleum to be erected in his own grounds.  Here he was buried vertically, a further snub to tradition.  But he proved a movable type; in 1827, half a century after his death, his body was found by workmen lying horizontally beneath a pile of gravel.”

He devotes a chapter to Comic Sans and how it has become the ubiquitous font.  So much so that there is now a war against using the font. You can buy mugs, caps and tee shirts online, which say “Ban Comic Sans”

There is a blog called My Fonts Blog, which is a is a companion resource to MyFonts, the world’s largest collection of fonts, here you can see a collection of tee shirts with glyphs on them.

I am only half way through the book at this stage but I would recommend it to those of you who are interested in the use of fonts and even those of you who are not.  After reading the book you will look at the printed word around you in a totally different way.

My niece has a typography of the month on her blog Spectacles. I have mentioned her in previous posts here and here.

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