Examining and Playing With Type

Stephen Coles’s The Anatomy of Type takes less time to read, but much more to digest. From the terminals to the tails, Coles breaks down the nuances of 100 typefaces with beautiful, comprehensible illustrations. He draws particular attention to the details that make a typeface unique. With a short history of each type and suggestion for what the type is good for, this is a must-have for web and print designers.

Once you’ve mastered The Anatomy of Type, you can pick up Lara McCormick’s Playing With Type to explore various typographic techniques. The book provides 50 experimental guidelines to jumpstart your creativity. The hands-on approaches aren’t limited to just playing with type on the computer. For example, the first experiment, “Ransom Note,” encourages you to cut out types from printed materials and assemble them together as a collage. With simple instructions and well-executed examples, Playing With Type is fun to read and inspiring to apply.

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