The 10 Best Typography Books

Typography is an important craft. Without it, written communication would be a lot harder to understand and less aesthetically pleasing. If you're interested in learning more about the principles of typography, or just want to look at some full-page spreads of of your favorite fonts, consider picking up one of these books on the subject. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

The 10 Best Books About Typography

Title Author Description
1. Designing with Type James Craig A full-color guide integrated with an online resource
2. Typography Sketch Books Steven Heller & Lita Talarico The collected notes of several leading designers
3. The Elements of Typographic Style Robert Bringhurst From basic rules to more nuanced principles
4. The Anatomy of Type Stephen Coles A visual exploration of 100 typefaces
5. Thinking With Type Ellen Lupton A critical guide for designers, writers, editors, and students
6. How to Use Graphic Design... Michael Bierut A manifesto by a successful graphic designer
7. Typography Workbook Timothy Samara Projects and fundamentals to help you improve
8. Typography Essentials Ina Saltz 100 design principles for working with type
9. Typography for Lawyers Matthew Butterick How to use type in legal documents
10. Type Rules! Ilene Strizver The designer's guide to professional typography

Who Uses Typography?

Obviously, arranging text is very important for professionals like graphic designers, but they aren't the only ones who work with the written word. Anyone who makes a website, designs their own t-shirts , or even puts together a scrapbook is concerned with making words look easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. And anyone who reads anything, from an Instagram post to Game of Thrones is affected by typography whether they know it or not.

The Importance of Typography

In Depth

The art of arranging typed language is called typography. This concept covers more than simply creating and designing fonts, such as the classic serif Garamond or the more artsy Splandor. Rather, typographers focus on details such as the spacing between letters as well as the vertical and horizontal spaces between the lines of text.

While this procedure was first applied with the printing press, the use of typewriters and other word processors eventually led to computer applications that have made typography easier to carry out. This skill is now easier than ever to learn, especially considering how many helpful books have been written about it.

From professional designers to casual enthusiasts, these 10 essential typography books can be used by anyone who aims to read up on practical tips, style guides, and more.

At #1, offering multiple project assignments is the book "Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography, 5th Edition" by James Craig and Irene Scala. It draws attention to the history of written language as well as various classic typefaces and modes of designing. While original text designs have become simpler in the digital age, Craig focuses on establishing "meaning" for a text. Beginners and professionals alike will understand that the look of a word or sentence can affect the way people will read it.

#2 on the list is "Typography Sketchbooks" by Steven Heller, which offers a detailed view into the works of prominent type designers, such as Bob Aufuldish's alphabets and Andy Smith's free-wheeling sketches. Readers can check out the private sketchbooks of these typographers and explore how this form of art has been incorporated into tradition and innovation.

Coming in at #3 is poet and historian Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style." This updated book focuses on forming typography through correct typeface and proper page designs. It also highlights the relevance of harmony and proportion when arranging type, the concept of kerning, and other important concepts. Finally, it offers practical and artistic views on the various type families, and includes text in different languages, such as English, German, and Russian.

This updated book focuses on forming typography through correct typeface and proper page designs.

At #4 is the in-depth reference guide titled "The Anatomy of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces." Written by editor and typographer Stephen Coles, the book reveals the features and details of one hundred classic and modern typefaces. The guide displays well-loved typefaces in vibrant colors, appealing to professionals and enthusiasts alike.

At #5, award-winning author Ellen Lupton's "Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students" uses plenty of visual examples to demonstrate how rules should be followed. From style sheets and ornaments to font licensing and hand lettering, the book can be browsed by students, writers, designers, and anyone else who works with type.

The #6 book is written by world-renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut, and titled "How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and Change the World." Bierut's groundbreaking work features over thirty projects, allowing readers to delve deep into his philosophy of art and design. The manual also highlights his creative process and relationships with diverse clients, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and The New York Times.

The manual also highlights his creative process and relationships with diverse clients, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and The New York Times.

Landing at #7 is senior art director Timothy Samara's "The Typography Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design," a reference book that offers insight to every aspect of type. Avoiding too many technical details, it features plenty of projects that exhibit successful, well-done usage of type. Readers can familiarize themselves with choosing fonts and sizes, avoiding mistakes, and learning the rules to live by while working with typography.

The #8 book in the list is centered on observation and experimentation to fully understand the use of letterforms. "Typography Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type " by designer and photographer Ina Saltz is organized by section, namely The Letter, The Word, The Paragraph, and The Page. Principles and its examples are explained, offering instructional yet entertaining descriptions.

At #9, attorney Matthew Butterick's "Typography for Lawyers: 2nd Edition" aims to show that legal documents can go well with admirable typography. This revised version offers tutorials based on old and new material, from emails and court opinions to using the latest versions of Word for Windows and OS X. The author also included his own type features as well as essays on legal disputes on typography that have been brought to the courts.

This revised version offers tutorials based on old and new material, from emails and court opinions to using the latest versions of Word for Windows and OS X. The author also included his own type features as well as essays on legal disputes on typography that have been brought to the courts.

Finally, the #10 book in this list is the fourth edition of "Type Rules: The Designer's Guide to Professional Typography" by The Type Studio founder Ilene Strizver. It has earned positive reviews for covering the latest type trends and guidelines for mobile devices, shedding more light on digital typography. From the basic techniques to leading-edge applications, this book has been recommended to tech-savvy students and professionals alike.

Making written language legible and appealing remains a widely-used skill in various industries. Typography requires both creativity and discipline. With many available resources in print and on the web that explain this craft, continual improvements for visually displayed text, whether printed on paper or billboards, can be expected.