The 10 Best Typography Books

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in February of 2018. 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 help fund the Wiki.

1. The Visual History of Type

2. The Anatomy of Type

3. The Elements of Typographic Style

Editor's Notes

May 13, 2020:

Typography has been relevant for hundreds of years, and as we move into a digital age, it has become even more important, whether you're a marketing professional or web developer. It's a vital component of graphic design, which is why you'll see elements of it explained in graphic design books, but it's also a fascinating subject for anyone who loves the written word and the psychology that goes into advertising.

We wanted this list to provide a healthy sampling of what the art has to offer, so you'll find comprehensive manuals like Typographie: A Manual of Design and Thinking with Type, compelling histories like The Visual History of Type, Just My Type, and Never Use Futura, and volumes of particular interest like Why Fonts Matter and The Anatomy of Type.

When updating our selection we removed Scripts: Elegant Lettering and Type Rules. We said goodbye to the latter because we felt it covered many of the same elements as other books on our list, and removed the former to make room for The Elements of Typographic Style, a book known and beloved to many. This 20th-anniversary edition contains a thorough revision of the chapter, "Prowling the Specimen Books," and many other small but important updates based on things that are continually changing in the field.

Despite these revisions, Elements hasn't yet been revised to touch on web design, which is where the newly-added Better Web Typography for a Better Web comes in. This selection is ideal for web developers and designers who want to understand the importance of typography and implement techniques to create stronger websites. It's a must-have for any professional looking to supplement their skills and enhance their portfolio.

Special Honors

Typedia Typedia is a community website that classifies typefaces and educates people about them, and much like Wikipedia, anyone can join, add, and edit pages. Each listing offers a visual example, background, release year, creator, classification, and more. The site also provides a forum for enthusiasts to share and discuss ideas and lists explaining the anatomy, classifications, and original formats of typefaces.

Lynda is an online educational platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Those interested in typography will find a wealth of tutorials and training courses, from designing a condensed sans serif typeface or a logo to broad introductions to Adobe Photoshop and graphic design.

4. Why Fonts Matter

5. Thinking with Type

6. Better Web Typography for a Better Web

7. Typography Essentials

8. Typographie: A Manual of Design

9. Just My Type

10. Never Use Futura

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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