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.

Ken Lunde: CJKV Information Processing

Dr. Lunde has accomplished a daunting task of putting together a 900-page reference on computing text in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Like Robert Bringhurst who wrote the eloquent foreword, I find this book useful, particularly the coverage of the Vietnamese language. A must-have guide for anyone interested in typography beyond the Latin alphabet.

Peter Dawson: The Field Guide to Typography

A breezy and beautiful introduction to the world of typography around us. Striking photography and brief design backstory make it a pleasurable and informative visual reference for both casual and serious typographic apprentices. Currently on sale on Amazon for $5.56. Can’t beat that bargain.

Robyn Blakeman: The Bare Bones of Advertising Print Design

An essential guide to create effective advertising design. From the creative process to typography to layout, Blakeman provides the foundation for designers to build upon on their own. It’s a good reference if you can get past the Copperplate headers.

Alex White: Type In Use

Concise writing and clear illustrations complemented with excellent real-world examples make this book a must-have reference on typographic elements for print and digital designers.

Ruari McLean: The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography

A good overview on the history of typography, legibility, and book design. More relevant to graphic than web designers, but it is still an informative read on typographic design.