November 5th, 2006
Author: Robert Bringhurst
Published: September 2004
Buy from Amazon
If you are looking for a book that explains typography on th web then this book is not for you. The Elements of Typographic Style is a thorough journey through the past, present and future of Typography. It is a beast of a book and at times a very detailed book on the intricacies of style. What it will offer to the average Web Designer is a solid grounding in the principles of typography from choosing a font to sensible rules that will create good typography.
Bringhurst's relationship to type is reassuringly humble. He explains that 'Good Typography is like bread: ready to be admired, appraised and dissected before being consumed.' At many times througout the book he likens typography to a musician interpreting a musical score. One of the main pieces of advice is that individual style should enhance and support the words rather than obscure them.
But Web Designers do have more control over text than they think they do. CSS offers a large amount of control over text including size and positioning. This book will serve as inspiration to explore these possibilities in greater detail as well as recoginising the shortfalls of text on the web.
I thoroughly recommend this book as an exploration of typography. You will gain a good grounding in the history and future of typographic design. You will also see a master at work in Bringhurst. He writes with art, style and dedication. It is a genuine joy to read (if at times a little heavy), seeing someone apply such intelligence and clarity to his craft.
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