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Designing Type (Paperback)

Designing Type By Karen Cheng Cover Image
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An indispensable new guide for developing and designing typefaces

One of the most essential tools of graphic design, typography influences the appearance of visual print materials perhaps more than any other component. This essential book explains the processes behind creating and designing type. Author Karen Cheng discusses issues of structure, optical compensation, and legibility, with special emphasis given to the often overlooked relationships between letters and shapes in font design.
 The book is illustrated with numerous diagrams that demonstrate visual principles and letter construction, ranging from informal progress sketches to final type designs and diagrams. A wide range of classic and modern typefaces is analyzed, including those from many premier contemporary type foundries. Introductory essays and diagrams emphasize the history of type, the primary systems of typeface classification, the two main proportional systems for type, the parts of a letter, the effects of new technology on design methodology, the optical illusions that affect density and balance in letterforms, and the differences in form between basic serif typestyles. The book provides detailed guidelines for creating serif and sans serif letters, numbers, punctuation, and accents.
 As design clients increasingly call for original and custom typefaces, Designing Type is a superb reference for both students and professional graphic designers. 

About the Author

Karen Cheng is a graphic designer and associate professor in the visual communications program at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Praise For…

"This book fills a conspicuous need by offering a succinct and careful treatment of how type itself comes to be. . . . Literally tackling the subject letter by letter, this treatment offers an invaluable perspective on what needs to be considered in creating a typeface that meets the standards established over the centuries. Clear and concise, with excellent, uncluttered illustrations, this is the kind of book that designers will want to keep close at hand and one that could become a standard reference in the field. Highly recommended for any collection with an interest in printing or graphic design."—Library Journal

"While there are a number of historical studies of the relationship of letterforms and type design, none of them can be considered as thorough and instructive as Karen Cheng's recent Designing Type. Cheng takes a very complex subject and through a simple design approach and a clear, concise, and informative writing style combined with extraordinarily complementary diagrams and specimens, renders it completely comprehensible. . . . A very well done and handsome book and an invaluable reference destined to be considered a classic in the field."—Ampersand: The Quarterly Journal of the Book Arts

"This book is especially good. Of particular interest are [Cheng's] students impressive attempts to design their own typefaces. Even if one is not a diehard type enthusiast, this is such a strikingly beautiful book that the journey from cover to cover will be well worth the effort."—Roy R. Behrens, Ballast Quarterly Review

"Cheng’s Designing Type is a comprehensive, systematic guide to the complexities of letters and how they fit together. . . . It’s visually ordered and orderly, which helps to organize the complex information and make it accessible. . . . For a practical approach to designing letters today, Designing Type may be the most useful single tool available. It looks like a book that will have a long life."—John D. Berry, Arcade Magazine

"This book provides a meticulous guide to the technical aspects of creating fitting fonts."—Dwell

"With careful examination, the casual reader will not look at print the same way again. To graphic-designers, who specialize in typography, this book is an invaluable reference guide."—Doug Ing, International Examiner

Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300111507
ISBN-10: 0300111509
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: May 19th, 2006
Pages: 224
Language: English