VISUALGUI

Tony Seddon: Essential Type

A well-designed, comprehensive typographic reference explaining and illustrating type anatomy, glyphs, terms, classification, and select typefaces. Seddon’s book design and illustrations are simply beautiful. There is a error on page 144, in which type featured is Carpenter, but the text is describing Akzidenz-Grotesk.

Sarah Hyndman: Why Fonts Matter

An enlightening look at the personality of types. Through friendly writing an engaging examples, Hyndman invites readers to feel or even taste the typefaces. Why Fonts Matter is a fun read for non-type nerds.

Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air

A heartbreaking memoir of a young neurosurgeon who faced his own terminal illness. Even in his final days on earth, Dr. Kalanithi managed to leave us with his courageous, compassionate words on dealing with death. In her epilogue, his wife writes: “Paul’s decision to look death right in the eye was a testament not just who he was in the final hours of his life but who he had always been. For much of his life, Paul wondered about death—and whether he could face it with integrity. In the end, the answer was yes.” Lung cancer claimed his body but never his spirit. It’s a painful yet beautiful read.

Jeffrey Strausser: Painless Writing

A refreshing reminder to clear and engaging writing. Strausser’s practical advices, approachable examples, and useful exercises
make it easy to improve your writing skills. I wish I had read this book in middle school.

Alex White: Listening to Type

Similar to White’s Thinking in Type, his latest Listening to Type is an excellent guide for improving typography. His writing is clear and his examples are comprehensive. Unfortunately, the design of this book, like his previous one, is way too busy. It feels like I am reading a webpage with lots of ads surrounding it. With layouts like these, I am not sure if I should stop reading the main content to look at the examples or I should just focus on the content and go back to the examples afterward. I wish the design was simpler.

Keith Houston: Shady Characters

After reading Houston’s The Book, I went back to read his previous Shady Characters with a much deeper appreciation. The backstory of the typographical marks including the pilcrow (¶), the interrobang (‽), the octothorpe (#), the ampersand (&), the @ symbol, the asterisk (*), the dagger (†), and the manicule (☞) is informing, enlightening, and inspiring. The beautiful hardcover, which is highly readable in Hoefler Text, reserves a place on my bookshelf to remind me these characters whenever I work on my typographic design.

Mara Einstein: Black Ops Advertising

Einstein’s book clears the muddying of advertising and editorial content. She delves into native advertising and provides real case studies to help us differentiate sponsored messages and actual content. With the increase of fake news and online tracking, we are being advertised and manipulated to death. This book is an informing and important read even if you are not in the ad industry.

Simon Loxley: Type is Beautiful

The story behind the fifty selected typefaces, including Baskerville, Comic Sans, Futura, Garamond, and Helvetica, in this book has been told many times before. Loxley doesn’t add anything new, but his writing is brief and approachable. If you know your type history, skip it. If you don’t, read it, design students in particular.

Digital Fonts and Reading

A collection of 14 research essays focusing on legibility and readability. If you care about typography, this book will provide informative studies on reading experiences ranging from highway signages to newspapers to everything in between. Required reading for designers.