Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design

One of the benefits of working at Vassar is being around two of the most talented senior graphic designers (George Laws and Charles Mosco) who are expert in typography. Whenever they produced a poster, I often studied it carefully to figure out how they handled their types. Most of the time, I find their type treatments to be elegant and well communicated. Inspired by their works, I constantly seek for type books to sharpen my skills. In most cases, there are books that focused mainly on theories while others gave examples without detail explanations. Fortunately, Timothy Samara’s Typography Workbook bridges the gap.

The book divided into two main parts. The fundamental section covers technical aspects such as letterform, spacing, variation, color, and expression, and so on to help you understand the basic principles of typography. This section is crucially important; therefore, many revisits may be necessary. Once you comprehend the theories, the second section puts your knowledge to work. Whether you design a book, website, poster, identity, motion graphic or other media, this book provides tons of real-world examples with clear explanations to fuel your imagination.

I am so glad the book dedicated a section to web design. Even though the web is limited in typography due to the dependable on the users part, you still can design elegant and beautiful sites with appropriate execution of type treatments, especially with the power of CSS. Just incase you’re wondering, this book is strictly on the design of types; therefore, it does not cover any CSS. However, one of the inspiring features on this book is the interview with respected designers in different fields to give you a sense of how they approach their projects.

Typography Workbook indisputably is an invaluable resource and an inspirational supply for designers. The best part about type design is that you can communicate effectively without images. In real-life, images are not always available; therefore, type design skills come extremely in handy. Pick up this book and start investing your time on typography. It will definitely paid off down the road.