Just My Type

Warning: this is a bit of a geeky post that has nothing to do with textiles, so skip this if you’re searching for a fibre fix rather than a discussion on typography!

Did you know that there are more than 100,000 fonts (variations of typefaces)? In my previous incarnation as a magazine editor, I had endless rows discussions with designers over font legibility, readability, size, and colour. Oh, and over the amount of space given to images versus text.

So it was with great delight that I read Just My Type, a book about fonts, by Simon Garfield. It covers everything from the popularity of Helvetica and Univers (and the hatred of Comic Sans) to the origin of the ampersand (& – it was the combination of the Latin letters e and t) and the interrobang (combined question mark and exclamation mark).

We take for granted these days the dozens of fonts to choose from on our computers, but the book also looks back at earlier DIY attempts to personalise our documents, from John Bull printing sets and Dymo tape to Letraset and golfball typewriters. All of which I am old enough to remember!

If  you read this book, I can guarantee that you’ll never look at road signs or shop logos (particularly Ikea) in quite the same way again. And it’s not that geeky. Honest.

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2 thoughts on “Just My Type”

    1. Hilary – for some reason, Blogger won’t let me comment on your post about shops near the British Museum, so I’ll have to do it here instead. You probably know it already, but Shepherds (previously Falkiners) is just around the corner at 76 Southampton Row, and sells fantastic art and decorative papers. Definitely worth a visit!

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