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ABC of Typography

Words by David Rault

Translated by Edward Gauvin

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.

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.

Eisner Awards 2020: Best Anthology (nominated).

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.


"If you thought typography was boring, David Rault and his roster of 11 comic artists will make you eat your words."
— Broken Frontier
"Rault goes into fantastic detail and his collaborators illuminate it with a lovely variation of comic arts styles and colouring" 
— Comics Scene Magazine
"ABC of Typography is a first that will educate and enlighten, but will also raise questions in the enquiring mind."
— Slings & Arrows
"The world of typography illuminated in this book, draws on a broad range of influences from both sides of the Atlantic and it’s an exceptionally entertaining read."
— The Morning Star