Today I am reviewing Just My Type, a book about fonts, for TLC Book Tours. As always, I am provided with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
My review: I am fascinated by fonts, typography and graphic design. I had a feeling I would like this book and I was right. What a fascinating subject! Simon Garfield is the perfect guide; he takes us on a journey from Gutenberg to the present. He writes about specific fonts that have influenced our world, various font designers, the way certain companies have branded their advertisements with a special font and the history of typography. Garfield moves easily from a chapter on the history of fonts to a chapter on the newest designs to a profile of a font designer to what he calls ‘Fontbreaks,’ in which he writes about a specific font. This makes for a lively read. I loved reading about font experts; those people who can identify any font or can tell you that a movie set in a specific time period has perfect period detail except for the use of a font that wasn’t invented until years later.
And there’s so much more. Years ago, an average person (like me) didn’t know a whole lot about fonts. With the emergence of Apple, Microsoft and the personal computer with a drop-down font menu, fonts have become something that everyone has an opinion about. I have my favorites and I bet you have yours. Garfield will help you understand why a font may be your favorite and why some fonts are ubiquitous and others fall by the wayside. Fonts can be a passionate subject for some; according to Garfield, there was quite an uproar when IKEA changed their font from Futura to Verdana. Imagine the credits in a Woody Allen movie in anything other than the Windsor typeface he has always used. Impossible.
Garfield writes about his subject matter with clarity and humor. I read the chapters in order, but you could just as well pick up the book and read a chapter at random. Just My Type is entertaining and informative. I highly recommend it.
If you’d like to win a free copy of Just My Type, leave a comment on this blog post and I will draw the name of the winner on Thursday evening.
About the Author: Simon Garfield is the author of twelve acclaimed books of nonfiction. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall, and currently has a soft spot for Requiem Fine Roman and HT Gelateria.