As a youth worker I often need to design publicity for events, and so when I found Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield in the local library I was intrigued.
In one sense the concept shouldn’t work – a book about the different types of fonts used around the world certainly doesn’t sound like good reading. But what you find is a great collection of stories, anecdotes and information on the fonts, their designers, and the inspirations for their designs. I certainly feel a lot more informed both about what fonts can work well together, but also the thought process that the various typography designers were going through as they designed the various fonts referred to in the book.
I didn’t realise (I suppose I should have) just how much effort goes into designing a typeface and the fonts and in a way this book salutes that with its clever (though perhaps obvious) use of the typefaces all the way through – it must have been a nightmare to proof read.
There’s no neat chronology here, and little to surprise a close student of typography, but as a layperson’s introduction to the surprisingly passionate world of typography this book couldn’t do better, and I would highly recommend.