BTB #252: Just My Type

Simon GarfieldTypefaces, like superheroes, all have origin stories. From Garamond to Georgia, Palatino to Proforma, the look of letters tracks back in time to a single fascinating moment of origination. Joining CCC’s Chris Kenneally to go beyond the book – diving down to the level of individual letters – is Simon Garfield, the author of “Just My Type,” out recently in the US from Gotham Books and currently on the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Just My TypeNot surprisingly for a volume subtitled, “A book about fonts,” reviews typically begin along these lines: “Who knew typefaces could be so interesting and so much fun?” Simon Garfield admits response from friends was much the same when he began the project several years ago.

“I had two reactions. ‘Are you mad? Do you really want to spend a couple of years on that?’ And the other was, ‘Great! I love fonts! I can’t wait!’ So absolutely more than anything else I’ve ever written, [the subject] split people. All the fonts, from Arial to Baskerville to Helvetica to Sans Serif. they do all have an interesting tale. These things don’t fall from the ether, they are put together with a huge amount of thought by very skilled people.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. People say Garfield’s font book is just their type - book-hunters.com | book-hunters.com - September 23, 2011

    [...] and describes how a good type needs clarity and emotion. The podcast and transcript are available here. Related Reading: Violence Today: Actually Existing Barbarism? (Socialist Register (Merlin)) [...]

  2. TypeOff. » Blog Archive » More media: Just My Type - September 26, 2011

    [...] Nevertheless, I got an e-mail last week from the Copyright Clearance Center. Despite the odd-sounding name, their message led me to a nice 20-minute podcast interview with Simon Garfield. You can listen to it here – http://beyondthebookcast.com/just-my-type [...]

  3. The Week Ahead 11.09.12 | CCC's Beyond the Book - November 9, 2012

    [...] the weekly review of PW reviews, Rose Fox finds Simon Garfield’s “exuberant” history of maps, On the Map. “Garfield’s droll humor and infectious [...]

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