Friday, May 4, 2012

What I'm Reading: A Book about Fonts

You know how some books that seem like niche books end up having a broader relevance? People say "Even if you don't care about molecular biology, you'll love this book!" Well, this is not one of those.

 I just finished reading "Just My Type: a Book About Fonts" by Simon Garfield. I definitely enjoyed it, but it was a very geeky type of enjoyment - and even for geeks, the book has some flaws.

If you don't care at all about fonts, I doubt you'll much care to hear the author wax poetical about the tail of a Q or the design of the ampersand. There are some interesting stories in there - I think? Or will regular people, who aren't crazy about fonts, be completely unfazed by the story of a printer who tossed an ENTIRE FONT into the River Thames, bit by bit, over the course of years?

From the geeky perspective, my main problem was that there weren't enough examples! If you're going to rave about the height of a T or the shape of an E, it would really help to SHOW THE FONT.

Still, it's good nerdy fun! I had to admit to one of my coworkers that I was laughing out loud at a chapter about the World's Worst Fonts.  (He thought the worst was the font for London's 2012 Olympics. I, however, think that Brushscript is really the worst. Seriously, it's SO BAD.)