Typography Books

Recommendations and comments by GDC Listserv members

The Elements of Typographic Style. 
by Robert Bringhurst
Hartley & Marks, 1991.
A thorough discussion of both the aesthetics and the nitty gritty details of fine typography and book design. Wittily written and quite enjoyable. Essential book on typography.

by Marshall Lee.
A very instructive guide. Third edition, revised and brought up to date for the electronic age, is in preparation, and due for publication in 1997 by W. W. Norton.

Book Design: Systematic Aspects.
by Stanley Rice 
I have also found Stanley Rice's "Book Design: Systematic Aspects" equally helpful; but it, too, is getting long in the teeth. It was published by Xerox in 1978.

The Form of the Book 
by Jan Tschichold
Hartley & Marks, 1992
A fine collection covering some of Tschichold's writings over a quarter century. Perhaps less broad and thorough than Bringhurst's book, probably because it's a collection of essays. I found it very illuminating.

Design with Type
by Carl Dair 
Toronto, Buffalo NY, University of Toronto Press, 1967, 1998


Type by Design
by Carl Dair 

Best of Fine Print on Type and Typography 
editor Sandra et al Kirshenbaum

Letters of Credit
by Tracy Walter


by Aaron Burns
New York, 1961, Reinhold
Oout of Print
A classic book by a classic typographer.

Rhyme & Reason: A Typographic Novel
by Erik Spiekermann 
Berlin, 1987, H. Berthold AG
Another classic by another classic.

A Short History of the Printed Word
by Warren Chappell
New York, Alfred A Knopf, 1970.
2nd Revised & updated edition, Robert Bringhurst, contributor
Hartley & Marks, 2000
A thoroughly enjoyable read on the people, places, and things that make up the history of type and publishing. Warren Chappell's book was revised and appended by noted author Robert Bringhurst and this book is the perfect complement to Bringhurst's own "Elements of Typographic Style". ... And anything else by this author.

Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type
by Geoffrey Dowding 
(Original issue: London, Wace & Co. 1957, 1966), Pt Roberts, WA: Hartley & Marks, Pubs. 1995.

The Design of Books
by Adrian Wilson
(first issue, 1967)
San Francisco: Chronicle books, 1993.

An Essay on Typography 
by Eric Gill
Available in the United States as a paperback reprint published by David Godine

Typographers on Type : An Illustrated Anthology from William Morris to the Present Day
by Ruari McClean
The selections are too short IMO but good anyway -- can point to other stuff.

Primer for Computer Typesetting
by Jonathan Seybold 
Not sure if it's still available. It is a detailed and lucid description of the logic at work behind the electronics.

Publication Design: A guide to page layout, typography, format and style
by Allen Hurlburt
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976 and 1971.

The Grid: A modular system for the design and production of newspapers, magazines and books
by Allen Hurlburt
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1978.

How to Understand and Use Grids
by Alan Swann
Quarto Publishing plc, 1989.

Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography
by Alex W. White

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
by Erick Spiekerman

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students 
by Ellen Lupton

Typography, Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography
by Jason Tselentis, Allan Haley, Richard Poulin, Tony Seddon, Gerry Leonidas, Ina Saltz, Kathryn Henderson, Tyler Alterman
Rockport Publishers, 2012

Designing Type
by Karen Cheng
Yale University Press, 2006