Books i.e. resources for learning font design

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Patrick Schoenbach
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Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by Patrick Schoenbach » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:54 pm

Dear typographers,

are there any good in-depth books or resources that thoroughly teach digital font design, yet still cover the basics to get one started?

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:36 pm

I had fervently hoped that some of the people who are experts at font design who frequent this forum could answer your question as I would also be extremely interested in the answer

... but alas nobody stepped up to the plate ...

... Oh well ...

... shame on you ...

I will provide some information in their stead.

I am not an expert by anyones reconing, I knew nothing about typeface design until January last year when I downloaded a copy of Font Forge and started trying to cobble together a font of my own, since then I have learned a lot but almost all self taught.

Two books which helped me (I don't think these are the best books, just the ones I happened upon) are Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman and Digital Typography by Ron Goldberg .

The first book is very entertaining as well as containing a lot of information about the psychology of typeface design. As well as being very well designed (from a typographical point of view).

The second book is rather outdated in it's explanation and it concentrates on the software package QuarkXPress which is not one that I use at all, however it contains a lot of basic information which is relevant to font design.

I hope this helps.
Last edited by PJMiller on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:01 pm

Another good book I just found is 'Anatomy of a Typeface' by Alexander Lawson.

This book examines about twenty classic typefaces, it discusses their history and analyses the decisions which went into their design.

Very interesting.

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:57 pm

I have also seen Anatomy of a Typeface, when it was available online.

I have also read Problems of Diacritic Design (for Latin Script Text faces).
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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:45 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: I have also read Problems of Diacritic Design (for Latin Script Text faces).
Looks interesting.

I have downloaded it and I will take a look at it tomorrow, tonight it is too late. Thank you Bhikkhu.

I have provided all the diacritics for Kelvinch but I had to position them relative to a 'typical' character, I chose g because g-tilde is part of my wife's language and is not provided as a pre-composed character in unicode.

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by Dick Pape » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:52 am


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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by Alfred » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:55 am

Thanks for the great link, Dick. :)
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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:58 pm

Thank you it looks like just the sort of list I was looking for.

I've just ordered 'The Elements of Typographic Style' from Amazon.

:D

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:46 am

Patrick Schoenbach wrote:Dear typographers,

are there any good in-depth books or resources that thoroughly teach digital font design, yet still cover the basics to get one started?
I have just found an excellent book on typeface design, it does not concentrate on the digital, much of the book is equally as applicable to metal punches but it also covers digital technologies without concentrating on any particular software.

The main objective of the book is to explore the design of letters, diacritic marks and symbols. There is also a section on how these designs vary among different languages and cultures.

So far I have only read the first two chapters but already I have learned a lot.

The book is :- 'The Elements of Typographic Style' by Robert Bringhurst, ISBN 978-0-88179-212-6

It is available on Amazon.

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by Alfred » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:58 am

I see that one of the contributors to the discussion on TypeDrawers says he tells people not to read 'The Elements of Typographic Style'! Another one says he likes Bringhurst, "so long as you don't take him quite as seriously as he takes himself".

Disclaimer: I haven't read the book in question.
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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Another good book is 'Letters of Credit' by Walter Tracey.

It is very good and has some interesting ideas on letter spacing.

The problem is that it is out of print and second hand copies are very expensive on Amazon (£100 to £140).

Fortunately there is a 'dodgy' website with a free download of the book as a PDF. I found it easily enough, anyone with a browser and a bit of tenacity could find the same website easily enough and get it for free. If they were inclined to do so.

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Re: Books i.e. resources for learning font design

Post by PJMiller » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:52 pm

'Letters of Credit' by Walter Tracey is an awesome book, not much about computer systems (it's a bit before personal computers) but there is a lot about letter design and spacing of letters.

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