Started reading: 12th August 2010
Finished reading: 28th June 2011
Typography is considered by many (including me) to be one of the most difficult components of design. It uses an archaic language, overwhelms with choices, and requires that you understand a broad range of ideas before making the most rudimentary of choices. For these reasons (in addition to many more), I would even go so far as to say that typography is its own discipline. Anyone wishing to master the art is in for a steep climb up the learning curve.
Luckily, there are some guides which can help with the ascent. This workbook, by Timothy Sara, is an excellent example. It breaks down the essential points of typography, explains how to make inspired use of fonts, and how type fits within the whole of a larger composition. It also neatly serves as a book of inspiration. It includes examples from a variety of disciplines — magazine design, book design, posters, and other sorts of flyers — an a large diversity of designers. Even better, it provides concise explanations as to why certain layouts work.
In short, it is a great reference.
But though great, it should be considered a great supplemental. If new to typography, you might be better served by buying “Thinking With Type” or Robert Bringhurst’s (essential) “The Elements of Typographic Style” as a starter volume. Then, if still interested, you might consider moving to to “The Typography Workbook.”