Typography: Graphic Design In Context

In his foreword, Professor Meredith Davis writes a change in how we teach typography is long overdue. This book breaks new ground, approaching the ever-changing environment of contemporary typography through explanations of how and why typography works or does not work, in a given context.

Intended as a core text for typography courses, the book is very well illustrated and each chapter starts with a primer by William Temple giving concise definitions of terms.

The Practice of Typography

The practice of typography has been radically transformed in the digital age, and this book is set to become the classic introduction to the field. The authors emphasize the practical concerns of designing with type: how to maximize legibility; identify the elements that make up a letterform; organize the reading space; design for both printed and screen-based output; establish a hierarchy of elements, and work with different grid systems.

Typography: Graphic Design in Context

Contents List

Relational typography: Primer, interconnection, systems and contexts, formal systems, typographic messages. Reading: Primer, expectation, traditions, and tastes, reading tolerance, legibility, and readability. Leading the reader, interpretation, unwritten messages, formal systems. Primer; Manners, mediating formal systems, pattern, variation, and contrast. The form of the grid: Form and cultural messages. Materiality: primer, touching, and seeing. Production and reproduction, means and medium, materiality, language, primer; saying and playing, rhetorically speaking. Abstract and mimetic type, visual style, rhetorically speaking. Message systems, disorder: Primer; containing, measurement, systems, classes, nomenclature, name-calling.

Readers are introduced to the fundamentals of pre-digital typographic technology, and learn to situate their work within a history of type design stretching back to Gutenberg and beyond. But they are also encouraged to think critically about typography: how are messages encoded in type and decoded by the reader? How do production constraints affect design practice? Do standard measurement systems aid or impede the designer?

Typography: Graphic Design In Context

Above all, the book emphasizes the importance of context in its broadest sense and of understanding the related systems, such as audience, technology, and language, within which typography functions. Primers to each chapter offer concise definitions of key terms, and the text is illustrated throughout with hundreds of inspirational examples of typographic design. These key features ensure that the book will be used as an essential reference tool, as well as encouraging students to be creative and exploratory in their own practice.

About the Author

Denise Gonzales Crisp is a Professor of Graphic Design, North Carolina State University. William Temple is an independent design scholar.

Typography: Graphic Design in Context by Denise Gonzales Crisp. Hardcover: 256 pages. Publisher: Thames & Hudson Inc. (2012)

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