In the mid 1970s, a college student in Portland, Oregon took a calligraphy class and became passionately interested in the principles behind great typography. His name was Steve Jobs, and ten years later he would design the first Apple Macintosh computer – a machine that came with an unprecedented range of typefaces and, by putting them within the reach of every computer user for the first time, made us all designers.
This is just one of the fascinating stories that crowd the pages of Just My Type. In this entertaining history of typefaces from Arial to Zapf, Simon Garfield opens our eyes to the words and designs that surround us. He explores the origins of some of the most famous typefaces, from Johnston Sans, the influential typeface first seen on the London Underground, to Cooper Black, the ‘friendly’ font specifically invented by an ad agency in order to sell products. Among other intriguing stories, we learn how Helvetica took over the world; why Comic Sans is the most hated font in existence; and why Gotham was so important for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Garfield also reveals the fonts voted the best ever created – Frutiger, Helvetica, Gill Sans, Garamond – and the worst: Courier, Brush Script, Avant Garde – and what your own choice of font might say about you. Whether you are a professional designer or a typographic innocent, you will never look at fonts in the same way again. This beautifully produced book comes with alternate blue and orange cover designs.
Review by jonnoble on 25th Apr 2012
"I got this book as a free book when I rejoined the Society and put it to one side thinking 'this doesn't sound very interesting'. I then sat down in a quiet moment to have a look and found I couldn't ..." [read more]