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ABC of Typography

Words by David Rault

Hardback, 128 pp, $24.99

Typography confronts us everywhere: in books and newspapers, on road signs, product packaging and political leaflets. It is ubiquitous to the point of mundanity. But while the typeface might be secondary to the message, it remains crucial to the way we respond. Fonts spark emotions; they evoke eras and ideologies. Some, like Edward Johnson’s for the London Underground, have become iconic. Others, like Comic Sans, are loathed. Each one has its own place in history.

The ABC of Typography traces 3,500 years of type, from Sumerian pictographs, through Roman calligraphy, to Gutenberg, the Bauhaus and beyond. Brimming with insight and anecdote, this witty and well-informed graphic guide explores the historical, technological and cultural shifts that have defined the look of the words we read, as well as introducing the artists who have marked typography’s long history.

The book contains artwork by Seyhan Argun, Aseyn, François Ayroles, Hervé Bourhis, Alexandre Clérisse, Olivier Deloye, Libon, Delphine Panique, Jake Raynal, Anne Simon and Singeon.


David Rault


David Rault is a graphic designer, photographer and writer. He is the author of numerous books about typography. He lives in Nuremberg, Germany.