The typography idea book: a review

Some of you will know that my background is in graphic design, having studied at University of Leeds fifteen years ago. I never pursued it as a career, in all honesty I didn’t really think I was very good at it. I far more enjoyed the idea stage and research than the actual creation of design. Which explains a lot how I ended up starting a blog to discuss design.

When Laurence King Publishing sent me ‘The Typography Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters‘ which is the follow-up to ‘The Graphic Design Idea Book’ by Steven Heller and Gail Anderson which was released in April 2016, I was more than happy to flick through this book.


Playing with typographic puzzle pieces is one of the joys of graphic design and typographers have many entertaining, esoteric and eccentric options at their disposal. The Typography Idea Book presents 50 of the most inspiring approaches used by masters of the field from across the world.

Geared towards helping you evolve different typographic styles, the book contains none of the technical jargon or tired old rules found in traditional tutorials but is packed with practical techniques and iconic examples. From type transformation to abstraction, via overlapping, hand-lettering, vectorizing, novelty typefaces and puns, discover all the brilliant ideas you could be bringing to your own designs.

I’ve been reading it on the tube, almost choosing a different typographic style for each journey to read and understand—the simple format of running through different styles of typography in an, almost, dictionary-like format makes it the perfect dip-in-dip-out book.

Reading through the different styles brings it home how vastly different the options available are when starting with a blank page. There is no right or wrong, there are styles that are well-executed. Sometimes typography is required to communicate a message, and at other times it can be decorative and character-full. Readers are in safe hands, as author Steven Heller has served as the art director at the New York Times, while Gail Anderson has received numerous awards for her contribution to the world of design.






From the publisher:
This book serves as an introduction to the key elements of good typographic design. Broken into sections covering the fundamentals of typography, the book features inspiring works by acclaimed typographic designers from across the world. Each section illustrates technical points and encourages readers to try out new ideas of their own. The subjects covered include typographic rebus, abstract form, overlapping, using grids, metaphoric construction and illumination. The result is an instantly accessible, jargon-free guide to typographic design using professional techniques.

Publication: The Typography Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters
Author: Steven Heller and Gail Anderson
Publisher: Laurence King
Year: 2016
Price: £12.95


Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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