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ABC of Typography (SelfMadeHero Non-Fiction)

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Typography confronts us everywhere: in books and newspapers, on road signs, product packaging and political leaflets. It is ubiquitous to the point of mundanity. But while the typeface might be secondary to the message, it remains crucial to the way we respond. Fonts spark emotions; they evoke eras and ideologies. Some, like Edward Johnson’s for the London Underground, hav Typography confronts us everywhere: in books and newspapers, on road signs, product packaging and political leaflets. It is ubiquitous to the point of mundanity. But while the typeface might be secondary to the message, it remains crucial to the way we respond. Fonts spark emotions; they evoke eras and ideologies. Some, like Edward Johnson’s for the London Underground, have become iconic. Others, like comic sans, are loathed. Each one has its own place in history.  The ABC of Typography traces 3,500 years of type, from Sumerian pictographs, through Roman calligraphy, to Gutenberg, the Bauhaus and beyond. Brimming with insight and anecdote, this witty and well-informed graphic guide explores the historical, technological and cultural shifts that have defined the look of the words we read, as well as introducing the artists who have marked typography’s long history. 


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Typography confronts us everywhere: in books and newspapers, on road signs, product packaging and political leaflets. It is ubiquitous to the point of mundanity. But while the typeface might be secondary to the message, it remains crucial to the way we respond. Fonts spark emotions; they evoke eras and ideologies. Some, like Edward Johnson’s for the London Underground, hav Typography confronts us everywhere: in books and newspapers, on road signs, product packaging and political leaflets. It is ubiquitous to the point of mundanity. But while the typeface might be secondary to the message, it remains crucial to the way we respond. Fonts spark emotions; they evoke eras and ideologies. Some, like Edward Johnson’s for the London Underground, have become iconic. Others, like comic sans, are loathed. Each one has its own place in history.  The ABC of Typography traces 3,500 years of type, from Sumerian pictographs, through Roman calligraphy, to Gutenberg, the Bauhaus and beyond. Brimming with insight and anecdote, this witty and well-informed graphic guide explores the historical, technological and cultural shifts that have defined the look of the words we read, as well as introducing the artists who have marked typography’s long history. 

30 review for ABC of Typography (SelfMadeHero Non-Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    From cuneiform to Gutenberg to Comic Sans, this history of typography is delightful. Graphic designer David Rault wrote the whole thing, but each chapter has a different illustrator, so the resulting book is like a taster course in comics styles. As such, I would highly recommend it to those who are fairly new to graphic novels and want to see whose work appeals to them, as well as to anyone who enjoyed Simon Garfield’s book about fonts, Just My Type. I found it fascinating to explore the techni From cuneiform to Gutenberg to Comic Sans, this history of typography is delightful. Graphic designer David Rault wrote the whole thing, but each chapter has a different illustrator, so the resulting book is like a taster course in comics styles. As such, I would highly recommend it to those who are fairly new to graphic novels and want to see whose work appeals to them, as well as to anyone who enjoyed Simon Garfield’s book about fonts, Just My Type. I found it fascinating to explore the technical characteristics (serif vs. sans serif, etc.) and aesthetic associations of various fonts. For instance, I didn’t realize that my mainstay – Times New Roman – is now seen as a staid choice: “Highly readable, but overexposed in the early days of the Internet, it took on a reputation for drabness that it hasn’t shed since the ’90s.” Nowadays, some newspapers and brands pay typeface creators to make a font for their exclusive use. Can you name the typeface that is used on German road signs, or in Barack Obama’s campaign materials? (You’ll be able to after you read this.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Brousseau

    Une histoire de la typographie absolument délirante. Avec des exemples concrets et des anecdotes hilarantes, les auteurs de cette B.D. démontrent l'importance de la typographie à travers l'histoire. Une histoire de la typographie absolument délirante. Avec des exemples concrets et des anecdotes hilarantes, les auteurs de cette B.D. démontrent l'importance de la typographie à travers l'histoire.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    A swift, engaging survey of the history of typography in the West. Each chapter covers a different time period and each is illustrated by a different artist. It reads like a condensed "Just My Type" (not a bad thing), with a French focus that I found really interesting. I loved seeing the way each artist approached the material - typography is such an integral part of comics that this graphic approach worked really well. A swift, engaging survey of the history of typography in the West. Each chapter covers a different time period and each is illustrated by a different artist. It reads like a condensed "Just My Type" (not a bad thing), with a French focus that I found really interesting. I loved seeing the way each artist approached the material - typography is such an integral part of comics that this graphic approach worked really well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    René Paquin

    Bd documentaire sur la typographie, art complexe qui possède son histoire et ses codes. L’idée de confier le récit à une multitude de bédéistes permet de varier les approches et... les typographies! 3 1/2 *

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The history of letters and typography, given a fun, inviting extra dimension through comics!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Divertido y entretenido.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    I'm the person who excitedly reads the end note of a book that explains which font was used. I remember first encountering that in the Harry Potter series and being quietly thrilled by the knowledge. So I was naturally very interested in ABC of Typography. It's a decent primer on the history of fonts and typography. I learned a fair bit, but for a book about typography, it's not the greatest example. Each chapter is crafted by a new artist and letterer, and the mix of styles is not always coheren I'm the person who excitedly reads the end note of a book that explains which font was used. I remember first encountering that in the Harry Potter series and being quietly thrilled by the knowledge. So I was naturally very interested in ABC of Typography. It's a decent primer on the history of fonts and typography. I learned a fair bit, but for a book about typography, it's not the greatest example. Each chapter is crafted by a new artist and letterer, and the mix of styles is not always coherent. And the script lettering in two chapters is bad. I could barely read it! ABC of Typography also focuses primarily on hisotry. Other than the glossary, it does not clarify how fonts work. Tell me about kerning! The fun facts about how some fonts came into being were welcome, but I would have appreciated a deeper, more streamlined dive into typography.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vanya Prodanova

    История на типографията, разказана в мини комикси, създадени от различни комикс артисти. Добре структурирана и компактна е информацията, така че да не се чудиш кое какво е. Наистина е приятно, но... Защо в книга, посветена на типографията, е взето решението да се използват шрифтове, които са НЕВЪЗМОЖНИ за четене, акълът ми не го побира. Убива поне 50% от удоволствието тази мъка с разчитането на текста. На места не си правих труда да чета внимателно, защото избраните шрифтове бяха като средновеков История на типографията, разказана в мини комикси, създадени от различни комикс артисти. Добре структурирана и компактна е информацията, така че да не се чудиш кое какво е. Наистина е приятно, но... Защо в книга, посветена на типографията, е взето решението да се използват шрифтове, които са НЕВЪЗМОЖНИ за четене, акълът ми не го побира. Убива поне 50% от удоволствието тази мъка с разчитането на текста. На места не си правих труда да чета внимателно, защото избраните шрифтове бяха като средновековно мъчение. Каква е тази лоша шега в книжка, посветена на шрифтовете, да ползваш НЕЧЕТИМИ шрифтове, не знам, абсурдно е... :/

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jess Literaria

    Interesante recorrido por los sucesos más importantes de la historia de la tipografía. Si bien esperaba un acercamiento de este arte a las personas de a pie, no hay que dejar de olvidar que se trata de un cómic. Hacia el final, se vuelve más técnico, pero son unas pocas pinceladas de conocimiento enfrentadas a la enorme cantidad de información que existe. En España se publicará el 25 de septiembre, por Norma Editorial.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Coxon

    An excellent comic all about typography. My only problem was one of the lettering fonts chosen is a little hard to read due to its handwritten scripty appearance. A strange oversight in a book where every part has beautiful art, unique colour choices and great cohesive style that sometimes is hard to achieve in an anthology comic. Still highly recommended if you're into type and design. An excellent comic all about typography. My only problem was one of the lettering fonts chosen is a little hard to read due to its handwritten scripty appearance. A strange oversight in a book where every part has beautiful art, unique colour choices and great cohesive style that sometimes is hard to achieve in an anthology comic. Still highly recommended if you're into type and design.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pablo RM

    Una manera simpática de acercarte a la tipografía y descubrir su historia.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Malapata

    Un ameno recorrido por la historia de la tipografía en formato cómic. Ideal para neófitos con curiosidad acerca el tema.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Richard Ryan

    A really fascinating insight into the history of typography; something I know exists but have never examined closely enough. A must for literary enthusiasts, graphic designers, and even movie buffs!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Sympa mais sans plus, je crois que je m’y connaissais déjà peut-être un peu « trop » pour apprendre beaucoup de cette BD. Le côté anthologie d’illustrateur-ices est sympa mais du coup, moi qui suis un peu picky, je n’ai pas accroché à beaucoup de styles. Et puis alors tout bêtement, je n’avais pas lu le résumé avant de lire et je pensais que ce serait vraiment un « ABCD » (abécédaire) et pas une histoire de la typographie donc j’ai été déçue. (Ma faute) En somme, contente de l’avoir emprunté et Sympa mais sans plus, je crois que je m’y connaissais déjà peut-être un peu « trop » pour apprendre beaucoup de cette BD. Le côté anthologie d’illustrateur-ices est sympa mais du coup, moi qui suis un peu picky, je n’ai pas accroché à beaucoup de styles. Et puis alors tout bêtement, je n’avais pas lu le résumé avant de lire et je pensais que ce serait vraiment un « ABCD » (abécédaire) et pas une histoire de la typographie donc j’ai été déçue. (Ma faute) En somme, contente de l’avoir emprunté et non acheté comme je l’avais prévu.

  15. 4 out of 5

    G-E

    Il s’agit d’un sujet vraiment intéressant qui n’avait jamais été traité en BD. C’est le médium parfait, car les illustrations appuient à merveilles les informations. Les différents styles graphiques se prêtent bien aux diverses époques.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tono

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Moreno

  18. 4 out of 5

    María

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sonsoles

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bl As

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mikadzuki

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bas

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hardy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kdawg

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Fion

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marie-Claude Taillon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  29. 5 out of 5

    GlenK

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dulce Ruiz

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