The 10 Best Typography Books

Updated March 05, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Scripts: Elegant Lettering
Type Rules
Just My Type
We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. The right font can make or break a website, advertisement, or logo. It can attract attention, affect readability, and even influence the level of trust that users have in your brand. Whether you're a graphic designer, a marketing professional, or just a casual enthusiast, these typography books will teach you the fundamentals and help you to look at typefaces in a whole new light. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best typography book on Amazon.

10. Scripts: Elegant Lettering

Scripts: Elegant Lettering takes a look at fonts inspired by handwriting, dating all the way back to the nineteenth century. It's a beautiful collection of examples from old letters and advertisements that evolved into the typefaces of today.
  • contains 350 illustrations
  • organized by country of origin
  • very little written content
Publisher Scripts: Elegant Letter
Model n/a
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Just My Type

Examining movie posters and presidential campaigns, Just My Type studies the 560-year history of typefaces, and what makes some more widely used than others. It explores the origins behind specific fonts and the people who popularized them, from Gutenberg to the Beatles.
  • easy for laymen to understand
  • engaging and thought-provoking
  • lacking in detail
Publisher Simon Garfield
Model n/a
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Thinking with Type

An updated and expanded edition of the classic, Thinking with Type works as a primer for beginners, or as a refresher for professionals. In addition to size, spacing, and punctuation, it also goes into more in-depth concepts, like logos, branding, and licensing.
  • clear and concise
  • useful resource for web and print
  • ebook version is poorly formatted
Publisher Lupton, Ellen
Model n/a
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Never Use Futura

Never Use Futura explores how a single font came to dominate modern culture, from marketing materials for technology companies and pizza franchises, to the plaque left behind by the first men on the moon -- and why it's sometimes okay to go against popular advice.
  • fun and approachable style
  • includes 16 pages of photo examples
  • chapters are a bit disconnected
Publisher Never Use Futura
Model n/a
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Typographie: A Manual of Design

Originally published in 1967, and just as relevant today in its sixth edition, Emil Ruder's Typographie: A Manual of Design helped to redefine the rules of type and graphic design. It includes the original German text, plus side-by-side translations in English and French.
  • written by a pioneer in the field
  • an insightful and holistic approach
  • visuals are not very informative
Publisher Emil Ruder
Model n/a
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Type Rules

Starting with the fundamentals, Type Rules teaches readers how to make the right selection for any audience or application. It touches on legibility, spacing, and formatting, as well as best practices for creating your own typeface.
  • includes exercises with each chapter
  • supplemented with video clips
  • comprehensive and well-organized
Publisher Type Rules
Model n/a
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Why Fonts Matter

In Why Fonts Matter, Sarah Hyndman delves into the science behind how we interpret and respond to information differently, depending on whether its written in Times New Roman or Comic Sans. It combines graphic design, psychology, and neuroscience for a fascinating read.
  • very well-researched
  • engaging writing style
  • teaches through real-world examples
Publisher Sarah Hyndman
Model n/a
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Typography Essentials

Offering 100 principles that give designers practical tips and knowledge on how to choose and use different typefaces, Typography Essentials goes into great detail without being intimidating. It's an excellent resource for beginners and seasoned professionals alike.
  • chock-full of visual aids
  • divided into four sections
  • covers both form and function
Publisher Ina Saltz
Model n/a
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. The Anatomy of Type

In The Anatomy of Type, you'll learn how to identify and distinguish the subtle differences between fonts. It provides information about the original designer and release date of each one, along with its strengths, weaknesses, and most appropriate uses.
  • full two-page spread for each entry
  • appealing visual format
  • includes lesser-known typefaces
Publisher Harper Design
Model n/a
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. The Visual History of Type

Showcasing over 320 examples, The Visual History of Type starts at the very beginning with movable type printing, giving a brief background and context for each one, and the large-format reproductions allow you to see every detail up close.
  • organized chronologically
  • covers 15th century to present day
  • provides an abundance of information
Publisher The Visual History of T
Model n/a
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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Last updated on March 05, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.


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