Theodore Rosendorf: The Typographic Desk Reference

Ellen Lupton’s foreword, which explains the purpose of a foreword, is just priceless. As the title suggests, TRR is a concise but comprehensive typographic reference. It even covers all the Vietnamese characters. The book is set in Carol Twombly’s Adobe Caslon with discretionary ligatures and custom glyphs by the author himself. It’s worthy of any designer’s desk.

Tony Seddon: The Evolution of Type

When I flipped through this book at Barnes & Noble, it looks and feels familiar. It turns out that Tony Seddon has designed the excellent The Anatomy of Type by Stephen Coles. Like Coles’s book, The Evolution of Type is beautiful in illustration and insightful in providing the history of 100 timeless typefaces. The chronological order of the release date of the typefaces gives readers a sense of how typography has evolved in the last 500 years and continued to do so in the future. If you love The Anatomy, you will appreciate The Evolution. They are a perfect complement.

The Adobe Original Silver Anniversary Story

For some reasons I had this book on the shelf since June when I got it for free at the Typographics conference in New York. I took it with me last week to read on my vacation and it turns out be a page-turner. Tamye Riggs has done an excellent job of giving us some insights on the Adobe Type team. I am a huge fan of Robert Slimbach’s and Carol Twombly’s typefaces and this book provides some intriguing details about their works and processes. If you attend a type conference and spot this gem, which sets in beautiful Adobe Garamond, pick it up. Thanks to Adobe for this wonderful gift.

Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces

Insightful essays, meticulous explanations, and striking designs make this book an important and compelling read. The attention to the letterforms throughout the book not only explains why the classic typefaces continue to play a vital role in the digital age, but also help you learn the details of type. It is definitely worthy on any designer’s bookshelf.

Fred Smeijers: Counterpunch

A fascinating look into the process of making type in the sixteenth century. By provides the technical considerations and challenges that went into the punchcutting technique, Smeijers makes you appreciate type design. It’s an intriguing read for type nerds. Just finished through the entire book and I already wanted to reread it to soak in all the details.

Cynthia & Robert Barnhart: Let’s Read

Developed by linguist Leonard Bloomfield, Let’s Read is a systematic approach based on psychology and logic to teach basic reading. The lessons—I am using to teach my six-year-old son to read—has been refined and thoughtfully reconstructed by the authors (Cynthia and Robert Barnhart) to help building up the reading process. Unlike most children books with pictures, in which he immediately looked at the images first than tried to figured out the meaning of the words, Let’s Read forces him to focus on the text only. He has progressed well with the first eight lessons. The large text, which sets in the beautiful ITC Century, makes reading a pleasure.

Jan Tschichold: The New Typography

“The essence of the New Typography is clarity,” said Tschichold. Even though Tschichold had abandoned his own position of The New Typography, the principles provided in this handbook are still practical for contemporary design. Read it and keep it in mind for projects that required bold, no-nonsense communication.

David Consuegra: Classic Typefaces

For a book on type, the body text is barely readable. The font size is way too small. I ended up browsing the type specimens instead of reading the designers’ biography. The content seems to be good and I wish I could zoom in on the text, but it is not a web site. I hope that the book gets a redesign in the near future with larger and more comfortable text for reading.

Neil Macmillan: An A–Z of Type Designers

A concise-yet-comprehensive reference on type designers. Each brief bio complemented with a beautiful illustration and a list of the designer’s typefaces make this book a quick source for typographic design and inspiration. The design of the book is gorgeous.

Marion March: Creative Typography

The typesetting of the book itself has issues—justified text in narrow column—but it features some great typographic examples. Not a bad book to flip through to find inspirations from the past. Got it at a bargain price.