Interested in Typography?

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Typography is one of my real passions in life. In my very biased opinion, it is a tragically underappreciated art form, covering all aspects of letter usage including (but not limited to) font design, calligraphy, graffiti, movie titles, interface design, signage, typesetting, and logo design.

Do you know the difference between kerning and tracking? Do you know that the typographic word leading rhymes with “heading,” not with “heeding?” If not, you may want to check out Erik Spiekermann and E. M. Ginger’s excellent book Stop Stealing Sheep & Figure Out How Type Works. It’s a great introduction to typography, and goes over the fundamentals of how typography works. The book is filled with illustrations, photographs, and lots of real-world examples to clarify the points being made. In addition to analyzing the visual characteristics of different fonts, the book also focuses on what typography communicates beyond words, letters, sentences, and paragraphs.

If you’re already familiar with the basics of type and typography but would like to learn more, I’d recommend The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. Denser and much more academic than Stop Stealing Sheep, Elements will explain to you when to use hyphens, en-dashes, and em-dashes; how different x-heights affect legibility; and enough typographic history to make you a first-class typographic smarty-pants.

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  1. Hi! My daughter graduated today from Oswego State College (Upstate NY) in Graphics Arts. Her specialization is typography design. She has talked with folks from the Type Foundry in San Fransisco, when she attended a typography convention a few weeks ago.
    They offered her an opportunity to go out there and do her own work on their equipment while observing and being observed by them. She was told it may be a slow time and she might have more imput from employees.
    My question to you is… ever heard of these folks? What about a “deal” like that? I’m a dad, and I would like to know a little bit about these guys.
    Any thoughts?

    Kevin Barry Auburn, NY

    By kevin barry
      May 12, 2012 – 7:46 pm   Permalink
  2. Hey Kevin,

    Congratulations to her on her graduation! I don’t know of a business called “Type Foundry” in San Francisco, though there are a few type foundries in San Francisco. It doesn’t sound like an unusual deal though – there’s quite a spirit of collaboration out here, particularly in that area. You might just double check the name and see if you can find out more about them.



    By Kent
      May 14, 2012 – 11:13 am   Permalink

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