Type: The Secret History of Letters

Overview

If you've ever wondered exactly what a Zapf is, or if Baskerville has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, Type is the answer to these questions and more. This is the story of the passions, and obsessions of the creator of type; of the influences of wars, persecution, and political upheaval, and the effects of business and technological breakthroughs on fonts and typography. From Gutenberg's first moveable type to the Internet, Simon Loxley tells the stories behind the letters, giving readers a cultural history ...

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Type: The Secret History of Letters

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Overview

If you've ever wondered exactly what a Zapf is, or if Baskerville has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, Type is the answer to these questions and more. This is the story of the passions, and obsessions of the creator of type; of the influences of wars, persecution, and political upheaval, and the effects of business and technological breakthroughs on fonts and typography. From Gutenberg's first moveable type to the Internet, Simon Loxley tells the stories behind the letters, giving readers a cultural history unlike any other. After reading Type, readers will never look at the printed word in the same way again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A heady mixture of intrigue, personal achievement and corporate greed...Loxley offers an engaging, well-presented account of the more eccentric personalities in type design."—Times Literary Supplement

"A funny, informative romp through typography."—BookPage

"You'll never look at Renner's elegant circles-and-lines font Futura in the same way again."—Boston Globe

"Simon Loxley takes the reader on a fascinating journey peppered with anecdotes concerning type designers and their creations." —Mediaevistik 19

"Remarkably good." - Journal of the American Printing History Association

Library Journal
Typographer and designer Loxley's aim in this history is to show how the "human baggage of ambition treachery and love" affected the development of Western typefaces. Thus, we get the well-known story of the legal machinations Gutenberg used to try to retain exclusive rights to his printing methods as well as stories of such lesser figures as the eccentric Eric Gill, who was, according to Loxley, perhaps "the most complex figure in the whole history of type design." We find unexpected incursions into the art of road signs and the possibility (rejected) that the computer might render type design itself obsolete ("typocalypse"). Loxley's style and approach is sprightly and generally nontechnical, so even readers without much knowledge of his subject will find his popular treatment of type history easy to read and, for the most part, not deadened by the weight of names, dates, and typefaces typical of such primary standard histories as Daniel Updike's Printing Types. An excellent choice for collections that stress printing, communications, and the arts. Peter Dollard, Mt. Pleasant, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845110284
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/12/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Loxley is a practicing typographer, designer and teacher. He lives in London.

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Table of Contents

Sine qua non

• The Nakes Letter: the Anatomy of Type

• Introduction

• The Adventure and the Art

• Dynasty

• Garamuddle

• The Maverick Tendency

• Detour/ meltdown

• 'Hideous Italians'

• American Spring

• An Awful Beauty

• Under Fire

• Detour/ typecast

• Going Underground

• The Doves and the Serpent

• Dangerous Passions

• Leper Messiah

• Europe after the Rain

• Detour/ Portable Serenity

• Two Ghosts

• Motorway Madness

• A Company Man

• The Twenty-Six Soldiers

• New Gods

• Revolution Again

• Detour/ Inside the Micro-Foundry

• Typocalypse

• Bibliography

• General Index

• Typeface Index

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