I Love Typography

Thinking With Type

Book Review

If you own not a single typography-related book, then reserve a place on your bookshelf for Thinking With Type. Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type is to typography what Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time is to physics.

Even those who already know something about typography will benefit from this title. It’s a great “propaganda” piece that you can loan to unbelieving friends and relatives, in an effort to convert them.

Thinking With Type

Thinking With Type is a well structured book that does not bombard the reader with type-speak. When new terms are introduced, they are defined and illustrated in a no-nonsense way.

The book comprises three main sections, namely Letter, Grid and Text. The first section of the book, Letter, briefly introduces type with a very short history, looks at type classification (Humanist, Modern, Transitional et. al.), designing typefaces and screen fonts.

Selecting type with wit and wisdom requires knowledge of how and why letterforms evolved. — from Thinking With Type

The second section, Text, deals with some of the finer details like kerning, spacing and alignment and includes some simple type exercises.
The third and final section, Grid, is concerned with the Golden Section and the importance of grids in controlling and presenting type.

There’s also a brief but excellent Appendix that deals with punctuation, editing and proofreading. Moreover, there’s a complimentary Thinking With Type web site that hosts some Tools For Teachers, Exercises and even a Dumb Quotes arcade-style game.

In conclusion, this title is an excellent compromise between the “design” books — that are really nothing more than coffee table adornments — and the weightier typography books like Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style.

If you don’t already own Thinking With Type, I suggest you buy it.

I have one copy two copies of this book to give away as a prize. I’ll put all the commentators in a hat (your names, not literally “you”), and pick one out. I’ll then ship it off to you.
Winners will be announced in the next published article, on or around October 14.

Do you own it? Have you read it? What do you think?

Coming up next is a gorgeous new font (I love it) and some more Type Terminology. We have some great articles planned for this month, including one about how to get started designing type, and…well, you’ll see. If you’re not already subscribed then you can subscribe to I Love Typography now. A huge thank you to everyone who has thus far subscribed, read and commented. You are all stars, and you are all part of the Type Revolution. Forward Comrades!

See also iLT’s Interview with Ellen Lupton, and
Ellen Lupton, the movie.


  1. Gasp, I don’t own a single type book. This post spoke directly to me. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Arpan

    Got the book, and it’s really well done. I’d love an extra copy to give to my dad.

  3. Jakob

    I have another book by Ellen Lupton – Design It Yourself – and it too takes a fun and hands-on approach not encumbered by too much theory. I imagine she is a very good educator. She can ‘do theory’ too – “Design Writing Research” tackles amongst other things language and design and that too was fascinating.

  4. I’m in the same boat as Dustin. Thanks for the recommendation; I’ll definitely have to pick this up.

  5. Jean Jacques

    Almost bought this book yesterday, instead I bought a Ruby book.

    I would love to see more book recommendations on here, because I’m a complete “noob” at typography and don’t know where to begin.

  6. Arpan

    Thank’s for the tip Jacob. I’ll have to take a look at “design it yourself”. Sounds interesting.

  7. I’ve been considering buying this book for some time. Sure would be great to win it…

  8. Great review, mate. I could really use a decent typography book, and this looks perfect. I’ll probably buy this — unless of course, I win it. *grin*

  9. I’ve been trying to find some solid books on graphic design, and there seems to be a severe lack of good, relatable ones that aren’t, as you put it, simply coffee table material. Or, for that matter, a 10-pound brick.

    I looked at Thinking With Type the other day and thought it looked pretty solid. Your recommendation makes me want to go back and purchase it.

    I’d like to see more book recommendations, too. There really aren’t any sites that review design books, so it’s great to hear what is actually good and what works.

  10. This does indeed sound good. The Amazon reviews are also looking great. I own one book on typography (Bringhurst’s excellent “The Elements of Typographic Style”) and “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White. I’ll definitely look forward to read this one, as well. I must admit that there are some chapters in “Elements of Typographic Style” that I find rather boring, especially those concerning printing methods etc.

  11. Kristin

    I’ve seen that book before, and I’d love to own a copy (hint hint)
    I picked up a book this summer called The Ten Commandments of Type + Type Heresy by Paul Felton. One side offers ten commandments of type with examples, then you flip it over to see examples of “breaking the rules” of type. You do have to be a bit of a design nerd to understand how clever and witty it is, but it is just that. Clever and witty. According to this book, David Carson is the devil.

  12. I’ve just ordered another copy from Amazon, so there will now be two available as prizes.

    You may own one soon.

    If you’re name is pulled out of the hat, then you’ll have the option of another copy, or an alternate type book.

    Thanks for mentioning that title. Yes, it’s a fine book and an excellent educator.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Lovely signature, btw.

    Jean Jacques
    Il ya plus de recommandations à venir. Where are you from Jean Jacques?

  13. Looks like a great book. Thanks for the quick review. The first book that really opened my eyes to typography was The Non-Designer’s Type Book by Robin Williams.

  14. Looks as though I’m going to be ordering more copies (I’ll need to visit my bank manager first!)

  15. poomoo

    I’m only in it for the book.

  16. Angela

    I’ve just requested this from the university library. Is this a book that is used as a text book in typography courses?

  17. I would absolutely LOVE a copy of this book. I treasure my copy of Bringhurst’s manuscript and I’ve only heard great things about this one.

    ILT is turning out to be a fantastic blog. Thanks for it and keep up the great work!

  18. I’ve heard good things about the book. Toss my name in the hat too!

  19. Kristin
    Hints will get you everywhere.

    I own many type books, but not that one. I shall have to order a copy. Thanks for mentioning it.

    You’ll have to do better than that ;)

    Yes, it’s used in many Introductory courses. Let me know what you think of it.

  20. Filip

    This is the kind of book that could turn anyone on to typography. Beautifully done, well thought through, and quite simply a nice read. And like the best typography books, you could easily enjoy it even if you didn’t know a word of English.

  21. Thanks for the review. I’ve been planning on getting both Thinking With Type and Elements of Typographic Style. I only own one typography book and it’s pretty sparse on theory (but rich in beautiful type). I’ll keep my eye out for this (that is, if I don’t win, hope, hope, wish, wish).

  22. Sean O'Brien

    As an industrial designer attempting to self-educate in graphic design, this book looks perfect for me. Please throw my name in the hat.

  23. This book is actually on curriculum in the course Digital Documents at my school, Ostfold University College, in Norway. Great book!

  24. ~Heather W~

    Well, I’ve added the book to my wishlist at Amazon, but admit I’m commenting for hopes of getting to take it back off the list. ;-)

    I’ve recently become intrigued by the whole concept of typography; it’s something I never gave the slightest thought to until recent changes at my place of employment came down the pike forcing changes to the fonts we use. It’s been interesting watching the combinations some of my coworkers have come up with to say the least.

    So, basically, I’m trying to intellectualize the gut “oh dear, what was she smoking THAT morning” reaction to some choices.

  25. Benjamin Quorning

    Recently, I read half of Donald Knuth’s rather techical “The TeXbook,” where he talks about his considerations when creating the TeX typesetting system. An interesting read, if you aren’t afraid of working with typography on the command line :-) Anyways, I have added “Thinking with Type” to my wish list, but please throw my name into your hat as well…

  26. My hopes of buying this book in Mexico are pretty near zero, so one little comment won’t do any harm :P


  27. Justin

    That sounds like the perfect gift for my fiance. She’s a budding type addict.

  28. Sounds like a good book… I’ve got Bringhurst and various others, but not this one. Can my name be included in the hat, please?

  29. Sean

    Typography is probably my weakest subject in design, and I have been struggling on where to start with some higher level learning. This book sounds like a good place to begin. Thanks for the tip!

  30. Wow, seems like a great book. Would love to have it.

    I got intrested in type reading a book by Will O. Harris called Type Style. As ofr starters it pointed me in the good direction. I don’t know if that one is still availible since it was published in the early ‘90.

  31. Filipe Cabecinhas

    To tell the truth… I never thought about searching fot type books… But I’ll see if I can read this one.

  32. n3rdski

    At my school this is the book that we’ve adopted for our Introduction to Type classes. I have read it cover to cover and I loved every page of it. Ellen goes into so much detail about type and how to use it the right and wrong ways. It was very easy to follow and understand the information. I highly recommend this book. Oh yeah and I got an A in my Intro to Type class, thanks Ellen Lupton!

  33. Andrew

    > The Non-Designer’s Type Book by Robin Williams

    That’s the one that I have, too. It’s a great resource. I lend it to my friends when they’re getting ready to have their wedding invitations done.

    Ah, but I’d love to win a copy of this book.

  34. You could put me in a hat, but it’d have to be a large hat. Interesting-looking book (and a great site). Even if I don’t win a copy, I’ll no doubt buy it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  35. Your enthusiasm is compelling, the design of your blog is elegant and effective, and your approach inspires me to learn more.

    Thank you.

    I shall buy the book!

  36. Rasmus

    Would you recommend this book for web designers as well, or is it only for print designers?

  37. @everyone
    I’m off to buy a bigger hat.

    Thank you. I only wish I could come and hear you play Cello — perhaps the next time I’m in the UK (I love Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85).

  38. How do you compare it to “The Elements of Typographic Style” by Robert Bringhurst?

    (Please put my name in the hat too! :-) )

  39. Alexandr

    Excellent book, I wish I have it :)
    The other nice book is “The Elements of Typographic Style”.

  40. I’ve had this book for a little over a year and I must say it’s definitely something you should not be without. It’s just so freaking much fun to read/flip through. Tons of info, tons of examples. I love it!

  41. Rasmus
    Yes, I’d definitely recommend it for web designers too.

    It’s a very different animal. Lupton’s title is an introduction to type, and would appeal to designers and non-designers alike. Bringhurst’s title (I’ll be reviewing it here shortly) is much more technical. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as first book on type. However, in the upcoming review I’ll discuss why it’s often referred to as the Typographer’s Bible.

  42. Malena Munford

    Thank you for introducing this wonderful book, I hope to read it soon.
    p.s. your site is amazing. keep up the great work.<3

  43. I already own this book (and loved how simply it explained stuff) so you don’t have to put me in the hat (its not like I’d fit in a hat anyway)……but I’d love it John if you could provide some more typography and design book recommendations.

  44. Malena
    You’re welcome. Thanks for compliment.

    I thought you might already have it. More book reviews coming up…

  45. I own this book. I found it a good, quick read, and it has been useful to me as a proofreader, in addition to informing my own attempts at design. I’d be interested in knowing what you recommend as a next book. Jump right to Bringhurst, or is there a more intermediate stop along the way?

  46. You’ve sold me, I’ll go get myself a copy. I’m already a self-confessed grammar nazi, so why not! :-)

  47. Bernardo Queiroz

    Me, me, me! Please, don’t forget to put my name on that hat!

    I almost bought it 3 times… this book is the one missing on my shelf!

    Nice article by the way =)
    Made me decide to (if I don’t win it) buy it, finally.

  48. Billy

    I was once, not so long ago, a non-believer. I want to be converted. I thirst for the book.

  49. Rasmus I agree with Johno the book does help with web design. Once you have a better understanding how type should be set your site will look so much more professional. Another good book you should pick up is “Making and Breaking the Grid” by Timothy Samara. That book explains the basic structures of the grid system. Once you have a good understanding of type & grid your golden. You’ll be surprised how amazing your websites will turn out.

    That reminds me Johno you should do an article focusing on THE GRID. I’m in my grid system class and I could use all the help I can get.

  50. Zero Piraeus

    It certainly looks very pretty … I’d be interested to know whether it actually adds anything over Bringhurst’s EoTS [which I must have read cover-to-cover half a dozen times by now, and refer to frequently].

  51. David Zulaica

    I quite literally put this book on my “need to buy this when I have money” list last week. This post just placed it higher on that list. Thanks!

  52. Wow, Johno, it looks like there might be an upsurge in Lupton’s ranking on Amazon soon, thanks to you! I’ve got a copy already, so no need to put me in a hat. But if you ever find yourself with an extra copy of this, feel free to put me in a hat, coat, and tie.

  53. Mike

    I’ve been Googling about, reading design blogs like this one, and generally wandering in the wilderness, hoping to find some good information about graphic design and typography. It’s one thing to know how to craft a standards-compliant web page with CSS and even get it to work on Internet Explorer. It’s something else altogether coming up with a stylish-looking design for the end goal.

    Sounds like “Thinking With Type” might be just the thing. Thanks!

  54. Kit

    The book sounds great.

    I wonder if there’s a correlation between typography books and covers that look like they were printed in the sixties. All my typo books seem to look the same way.

    …not that I’d _judge_ a book based on that :P

  55. Elaine

    Ooh, throw my name in too! The book sounds fantastic.

  56. Dao

    I’m commenting in hope of winning this book because i badly need to read and learn more about typography. My volunteer manager constantly reminds me that i have NO typography skill. I love reading this blog, its very educational and clearly written.

  57. After reading through The Elements of Typographic Style, I’ve found a new love and appreciation for typography. Definitely want my name in this drawing.

  58. The appendix alone makes this book totally worth it, and it’s great for writers as well as designers. I also learned a lot from Stop Stealing Sheep, which I read for a magazine design class in college.

  59. Jeff Fitzgerald

    I’ve considered getting a copy of Thinking with Type but I’ve always passed because I’ve got many other design and typography books. With the exception of Stop Stealing Sheep, I’ve not been able to finish any of my books on typography. They can be too long on history and basics to where I lose interest or the writing is too academic or inaccessible.

    I’ve enjoyed I Love Typography for the reasons that the writing is informative and fun to read. From your review of Thinking with Type I trust that it too is informative and fun.

  60. *stares at the cover image and takes a mental photo for the next visit to the local bookstore*

  61. Samantha

    I just discovered your site yesterday and I’m thrilled! Good typography is hard to come by on the web. (As I’m sure you’re well aware) Thanks for such a lovely site and great resource, I look forward to reading your future articles.

    - a graphic designer and fellow type addict.

  62. This book has been in my shopping list for ages. I want it! :)

  63. I just stumbled on your site the other day, and I have already squandered happily a fair chunk of time browsing around. I loved reading your review of this book, because in my work as a newspaper page designer (for features sections, which allows much more flexibility with type) I have been forced to design by instinct rather than logic. My natural talents and training lay more in what the words say rather than how they look.

    But the look is important, too, and I’ve come to love the design part of my job and lament my lack of technical understanding. This book may be just the ticket to help me figure some of that out. I’ll hold out hope for winning a copy; if that doesn’t work I’ll have to put it on my Christmas list!

  64. Sold on the description, though I might as well try and win before buying it myself.

  65. Jared

    This was a really helpful post as I’ve been looking to purchase a typography book for my high school newspaper. I’m the lead designer and understand typography a bit, but I can always learn more and the rest of the staff could use some major help. Would love to win this.

  66. Great book, really need to buy it, put me in the hat ;)

  67. I got a little interested in typography through some articles I was reading on David Airey and when I came across this blog a few weeks ago, I immediately subscribed. I suppose the next step is a book…

  68. Manamex

    Thanks for this recommendation. Got a few books on Typography but his one is missing in my collection…

  69. Gustavo Caetano

    Great, can I still go into the hat? **

  70. I saw this on your recommended books list and bought it on Monday from Waterstones. It’s a brilliant read and covers a lot that I didn’t know. I’m starting to get a lot more into typography, thanks to this site and others.

    I also love the size. I find that huge books can be intimidating.

  71. Thanks for the tip!
    By the way, great site with great content and design!

  72. I wouldn’t mind winning that there book at all.

    I was looking at some typography and design books the other day. The only problem is i’m a dirt poor design student. :D

  73. My gosh , i need win it.. :-D .. i dont read it, but a heard much about this book , i saw some videos with ellen lupton and she is great

  74. I’m proud to say I’m a lover of type. You might even call me a font queen. But I’m _embarrassed_ to say I don’t actually have a single reference book on typography itself. Here’s hoping I win this one. If not, I’m gonna have to buy it myself.

  75. This book seems drool-worthy. It’s not too weird to drool over type, right? Definitely have to look into this. Thanks for the heads up!

  76. I bought Bringhurst’s book, but have found it slow-going thusfar [especially as I have little time to chew on it] I was considering buying Thinking with Type, but I figure I’ll just enter this contest instead.


  77. Seems a amazing book! I want it ;)

  78. NCJ

    I haven’t bought a book on type in several years. This looks great.


  79. I am typographically impaired. I would love a chance to win the book by leaving this comment :)

  80. Tim

    A Brief History of Time is an excellent book, but still a lay introduction to physics. In that sense, what would you recommend following Thinking With Type? I haven’t the time to take a course on typography but I’d like to pursue it all the same; any further recommendations you may have would be invaluable.

  81. this book was very important to me. its brazilian edition came out last year so it really was a turning point for portuguese-language publications on the subject. this one is from those few books who can speak to people outside the field… i actually lend mine to a friend (who happens to be a writer) and he is freaking out :D i just don’t know if he’ll return it to me….

  82. I’ve had this book on my wish list for some time now. Come on lady luck!

  83. I too love typography, but for some reason I can never stay awake through typography books. I’m sure if I did, I’d be a better person all around. Maybe this is a book to get me going?

  84. brandon lee

    Thanks for bringing this up. I feel as if I’ve definitely seen that cover around somewhere, perhaps only on Amazon, but have never read it myself. Wouldn’t half mind winning it in this lottery, either! =)

  85. The only typographic book I own is “Elements of Typographic Style” — a classic, but a bit thick at times. I’d love to have another. ;)

  86. How can you keep up with constantly writing these post, the devil must be whipping you Johno! :-)

  87. Interesting, I don’t have any books on type yet, but since I’m designing my own portfolio site this would definitely be useful. I think typography can really improve web design a lot, if it’s done right..

  88. erik

    Thinking with type has been on my to-buy-list for a while now.
    Realised I’ve got too few (can one have too many?) books on typography and grid, and mostly rely on ILT (thanks!) and other blogs as a resource.

  89. Found it some weeks ago on amazon and wasn’t sure if i should buy it or not. Your review helped. Thanks.

  90. Ah, nothing like a giveaway to get the comments flowing!

  91. I must admit that I don’t own a single book related to typography, although I’ve been meaning to get one sometime. So this sounds like a great book to start with. It would be nice to win a copy of it… :-)

  92. “Thinking With Type” is indeed an excellent book. I have one (beat up and like it that way) and no need to put me in the hat. I’m writing simply for support ;-)

    I also agree with Robert about his recommendation for “Making and Breaking the Grid” by Timothy Samara.

    I’m signed up and all ears.


  93. Oli

    Pop my name in the hat too. Thanks!

  94. Say, how would you compare this book with Karen Cheng’s “Designing Type” — is it more “designer-oriented” or “novice-oriented?”

  95. sEndres

    Smashing Magazine recently listed over 40 books for professional design and development, and I’m glad to see this was near the top of the list.


    Please drop me (well, my name anyway) in the hat…

  96. Woe is me, I’ve lent my copy of Thinking With Type to a friend, and I don’t think I’ll ever see it again. I’ve also lent my copy of Bringhurst’s book, but that I will have to take back (or get her a new one for Christmas). Thinking With Type is an excellent introduction, but Elements of Typographical Style is the typographer’s bible, to be read over and over again getting more out of it each time.

    Here’s a link people here might appreciate, it’s an exploration of applying Bringhurst’s ideas to the web via CSS: The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web.

  97. patrick

    I’m in for the book.
    I’m too much of a novice to say anything pithy at this moment =p

  98. I just thougt about loading amazon.com in another tab to get it.

    Will you send me one? Holy sh*t, that’d be great!

  99. bk

    giving away free things is a sure way to get people to comment :P

  100. Simas

    100 comments:) John, give it to me…

  101. Oh, yes, one of my favorites! I may have mentioned that I bought Thinking with Type and Designing books: practice and theory with Borders Christmas gift-cards. Those two sit on my desk to be referred to when I need something to think about. So’s Bringhurst and two or three others on type-related issues.

    I’m actually about to begin digging thru the books on my shelves to espy type that I’d like to replace.

    See, seems I walked into the middle of an exchange on Typophile about the use of of Sovereign Light as a book’s main body typeface. A few people had chimed in about how they found it hard to read the particular book they were talking about because of the typeface. I opined as to how the whole thing came up against my first rule of book design: Thou shalt not do anything to distract the reader from the book he or she is reading.

    Then I was asked what I would replace the Sovereign Light with.

    Pretty good interrogatory, I thought. Even without addressing me with something like, “Okay, wiseass, you think you know so much … ”

    The more I thought about it, the more I realized there is a whole case to be made for looking thru books and considering changes in the types used. I have to go back to Typophile and explain that I am not familiar with the book in question. I want to explain that, as with every book I design in the first place, I will not pick a typeface without “getting” what the book is about and how it says it. But I did put up an entry on my blog at Tiano Design to discuss that very thing. It’s called More Fun with Type.

    And I plan to be on the lookout for books that need a change of type.

  102. Amy

    I’m a n00b to the whole typography scene, but have much enjoyed following your site. It has definitely opened my eyes to a whole ‘nother level of appreciating type.

    I’m all for seeing some more book reviews myself. I’m an avid reader and have been having a difficult time finding books between the “here’s how to turn on your computer” and “*insert over-the-head technical speak*” sections on the spectrum.

    (If I don’t win this, I’ll have to figure out a way to convince the hubby that I need another design hobby. *grins*)

  103. Persia

    Toss my name into the hat too! The Elements of Typographic style was my first type book, too, though I’ve read a lot of Robin Williams at the bookstore, heh.

    I’m actually more excited about the new font you’ve promised….

  104. Man, looks like some steep competition for those two books :-) This one is going on my Amazon wish list regardless of the outcome. It’s not often you find an accessible book that covers typography well. Thanks for the review!

  105. Sorry - I haven’t read all 100 or so comments. But I’m getting through “Anatomy of a Typeface”. It’s pretty dense, but tells the story behind many, many typefaces - what their influences are, where their name came from and who designed them.

    And I’d also love another book that would make my roommates go “What are you reading that for?”

  106. If I’m recommending a single book, it’s Robert Bringhusrt’s The Elements of Typographic Style. Not only is it filled with concepts for use in the real world, the man—he is, in fact, a poet, writes wonderfully. The book is a pleasurable read. And it is a fine example of good typesetting. Mr. Bringhurst practices what he preaches.

  107. Maré Odomo

    I already own this book but I keep it at school in case we need it for class. Maybe a second copy would actually get me to read it.

  108. Zandt K.

    I have the book and I absolutely love it. Very well done, I read it almost cover to cover in one sitting.

  109. I’m a new subscriber, and I must say that so far I’m really enjoying your site. I’ll be sure to pick up a copy of this book sometime in the near future. Thanks for the recommendation!

  110. New books smell really good.

  111. dk

    Okay, maybe next time you should provide an extra form for that give-away part. It is to alluring to write a comment here…

    Typically I’m reading through all the comments in your blog, but this time the quantity of “begging sentences” blighted that halfway.

  112. Garrett Moon

    I would love to get a copy of this book!

  113. Espen

    I have only recently stumbled upon your site, and really want to learn more about typography!

    I’m throwing my name in the hat as well :o)

  114. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I have enough names now, and will choose and announce two winners on October 14. Hope to see you all for the next article.

    DK’s idea is a good one. I plan to offer some more prizes in the future, but I’ll most likely do it via a separate form. I never envisaged such a positive response. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

    Feel free to leave a comment about “Thinking With Type”.

  115. “Thinking with Type” is a great book. A fantastic introduction to the anatomy, lineage and use of type in a way that is accessible yet informative. I haven’t gotten around to reading Bringhurst’s “The Elements of Typographic Style” but I feel like this book has prepared me for it.

    My one complaint is that the paper feels awful – almost as if its plastic coated or something. Sounds silly now that I’ve said it, but it detracts from the overall experience with the book! That said, I don’t think it should stop anyone from buying it!

  116. Brian Andersen

    I own Bringhurst’s book as my currently only tyopgraphy-related book, and and while it was an interesting read as such, parts of it were hastily skipped - perhaps I’m more of a practical kind of typography consumer ;p

  117. I own a few books about logoart, but none about type itself, so this is obviously worth a comment. But wait, i used to comment here before, so dang! is this more worth it? Whatever, i just thought i write something weird here, so furtune remembers me when you grab the snippets.

    Guess i have to buy it anyways if this won’t work out :)

  118. I’ve been waiting for a book like this! A great idea to give a copy of it to your readers as a gift! :-)

  119. Hi! I’ve seen this book around and wanted it for a while. Also, This website is great, can’t wait to see more.

    And yeah, I’m mostly replying to try to get the book!

  120. This would look great next to Bringhurst on my bookshelf :-)

  121. Rawk Eyelund

    I guess I’m too late to win it; might have to buy it. I’m a Robin Williams fan, too.

  122. nikkala

    Don’t own it, but want to.

  123. Don’t have any type-related book. But would like to start with this one. :)

  124. Well, I’ve read the Lupton book and Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style. For a brief example of why he’s such a good read, see my blog on a few lines of his.

    I’ve also read Tschichold’s The New Typography. Can’t say I’m happy with him. This translation of Die neue Typographie, I think only gives a hint of how, hell, dictatorial he could sound. I have to admit ranting a bit about him here.

    But—and I was just reminded of this, cruising thru the comments here again and finding mention of it—I’d still really, really like to get hold of Tschichold’d The Form of the Book. But the cheapest Amazon has it for is over $100! The one I’m reading right now—rather slowly—is Tracy’s Letters of Credit. This one is awfully good, too, and I’d recommend it.

  125. I’ll definitely have to check this out…

  126. JPK

    I’d like to be in the running too!

    BTW Keep up the great articles!

  127. How could I not comment for this :D I’m just getting started with type. Perfect match ..

  128. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll put the book on my shopping list (if I’m not lucky in the draw…)

  129. Adi Shavit

    Just got it last week, and it seems amazing.
    Great blog, keep up the good work.

  130. The book sounds great, and I know it would fit perfectly on my shelf. Right between Bringhurst and Eric Gill’s Essay on Typography. :)

  131. Nikola Subic

    It would be great to have this book :)

  132. Hey thanks for your review. This book sound really great and I think you made me wanna buy it!

  133. This is one I really need to get. The others in the Design Briefs Series are must haves in my opinion and they have a showcase position on my bookshelf. Having this one beside them would be icing on the cake.

  134. Brian Bush

    Looks like a great recommendation. Will be sure to search it out.

  135. Man this looks pretty neat ! (do you say that?)
    I need to check if it exist in different languages, I’ve allways had a hard time finding a proper good book on type, if this is as good as you say it is, man my shelves can clear some space up right now !

  136. Eduardo

    I am very curious about the book, its been a while that I am looking for a good one into Typos

  137. Great review, I would like to have one copy for improving my typo-skills.

  138. Don’t own any book on TYPE. Try my luck to get one free book. :) By the way, very informative site. Great post on Arial Vs Helvetica.! Brilliant.

  139. I think I deserve the book because… ah, wait, this isn’t one of those contests where you have to write why you want to win, or why you deserve to win.

    Anyhow! Enter my name! Surprising, I DO NOT have a copy of this. Sad isn’t it Johno =(

  140. this book looks great, thanks for the review.

  141. yotiao


    “Thinking with Type” is great, even more as the first book about type/ography to own (way better than the classic about sheep), but to me the most useful first book about type/ography and setting type it “A Type Primer” by John Kane. It does not look that good, but I found it very useful to solve my grid/type/leading dilemmas. I strongly suggest this book as a prize in your next contest :-)


  142. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

    I have now chosen the winners (randomly), and will announce them in the next couple of days.

    There’s obviously a huge thirst for type out there, so I’ll be offering more type-related books, fonts, and even typography T-shirts. In fact in the next article — in which I feature a new font from one of my favourite foundries — I’ll be offering that very font as a prize.

    See you all for the next article.


    ps: if you’re having difficulty sleeping, then head on over to the About iLT page, where you can learn a little more about…well, me.

  143. I’m really trying to get in on the whole type theory world. I’d love any more books I can get my hands on. I currently own the excellent Design Basics Index, which has a whole section on Typograghy, as well as Typography Workbook by Samara. I’m especially interested in the history of Typography as well as its use on the web.

    Love this site!

  144. Oh man, this would be sweet if I could win this drawing.. I need this book for class and I was going to buy it this coming week!

  145. dglassdes

    The way I see it, you can never have too many type books.
    Thanks for the post.

  146. Amethyst

    I’m fascinated with the topic. I didn’t know where to begin and it seems this book would be a perfect place to start.

  147. Johanna

    “Typography is what language looks like” - another great quote from Ellen Lupton. Not sure if it’s in the book, as I don’t own it - yet. :) My most beloved typography book so far is “Detailtypografie” by Forsmann and de Jong, a BIG book lying in the shelf behind me. I don’t know if it has been translated into English, though (it’s German).

  148. Johanna
    That quote is the first thing one sees when opening the book. It’s a beautifully succinct definition of typography.

    As far as I’m aware Detailtypographie has not been translated into English, which is a pity. It does have a beautiful cover though:

  149. Excellent post. The book looks promising :)

  150. I´m a brazilian graphic design student and bought last month “The Elements of Typographic Style”, which I really liked. I´m doing my first typeface at college. I´d love to get “Thinking With Type” too. : )
    And by the way, I love iLT!

  151. It is funny because there are so many “designers” out there that don’t have a clue about typography. Such a shame.

  152. Carrie

    I am a student and I want to learn all that I can about design. I have recently become interested in learning more about typography and this book would be a great help! I would love to have it!!

  153. I just realized, I have no books on typography. This should be my first one. I shall nick name it….Ty.

  154. I cant wait for even more contest, and to win an actual font is really cool too. ( I hope it’s Montag). Just other reason for me keep coming bak to this awesome website. :)

  155. Erica

    Thanks for the review!

  156. Toss me in the hat. For as much as I claim to love design/typography, I’ve come to realize I don’t own a single book on the subject. It’s time to move on from gleaning info from blogs. Props to this one, though! :)

  157. That’s the one book on typography I didn’t pick up back in ad school. By the sounds of your review, I wish I had.

  158. zachary

    I agree that “Thinking With Type” is a great book to have. “The Elements of Typographic Style” is also a wonderful book and I recommend both to anyone interested in type.

    I would love to get my hands on “Detailtypografie” if it were easy to find and not so expensive. $140 is quite a bit for a book I haven’t even seen.

  159. As a junior designer for a book publisher, that would be a lovely addition to my design and reference library. Kudos to Lupton!

  160. Jakub

    This book looks good (not trying to sound like I am not here for the contest very much, i know :) ). But I really love your site

  161. Johanna

    I received Detailtypografie as a present last Christmas, sure couldn’t have afforded it just like that. It’s one of the books I just really, really longed for - but then, that’s what it’s like with most of the beautiful books I come across. Plus, this one even satisfies my meticulous perfectionism, as it holds answers to pretty much every question one could come up with concering - well, “Detailtypografie”.

    Might just put “Thinking with type” down on my wish list for Christmas now - but then, I’m still eyeing “Die [neue] Lesetypografie”, too …

  162. Siim

    I’d sure love to have this book. At least then I would have something solid to point at the next time people start complaining why things should be done in a certain way.

  163. Sounds pretty good, like an excellent beginner’s guide to typography.

  164. Josh

    I was looking at buying this and ‘The Elements of Typographic Style’ but its so hard to find. I found it on Amazon for like £55. A bit costly for a first book. I am definitely going to purchase this one thanks for the advice.

  165. Jeremy

    I’ve had this book for about six months now. It’s great for reading in long sittings or in short bursts. Also, the appendix alone is worth the price of the book. It’s one book I will never regret picking up.

  166. Jeremy
    Thanks for your contribution. Did you see the interview with Ellen Lupton?

  167. Maggie

    I brought this book for my intro to typography class. I must say, I really like typography, but I really hate this book. The layout of it makes is hard to read. You don’t really know where to start off, and it allows your eyes to jump all around the pages. And some of the information in the book is incorrect, or at least my professor had pointed out. The book is pretty to look at, but to use it as a source, I think not…

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