Review of the Week: 4/3/17

This week's Review of the Week explores typography.

Essential type: an illustrated guide to understanding and using fonts

Seddon, Tony. Yale, 2016
192p bibl index, 9780300222371 $25.00

Essential type: an illustrated guide to understanding and using fonts book cover

The subtitle of this book perfectly encapsulates its nature as a useful guide to fonts as a key facet within the study of typography. Seddon (a UK-based designer) uses color—in the visual table of contents and the chapters themselves—to make navigation easy. Bringing his own freelance and art-direction experience to the book, the author covers the anatomy of type, terminology, and fundamental typefaces, carefully distilling the information to assure a go-to handbook unencumbered by excess. Be they students or practitioners, readers will find the book easy to use. Jim Krause’s Lessons in Typography: Must-Know Typographic Principles Presented through Lessons, Exercises, and Examples (2016) and Ellen Lupton’s Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students (2004) are equally useful, but they are more textbook than reference resource. Those seeking to master typography will find Seddon’s book invaluable.

Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates, including students in technical programs; professionals.
Reviewer: J. C. Burns, Dixie State University
Recommendation: Essential
Subject: Reference
Choice Issue: Jan 2017