For beginning and intermediate typography courses.
A practical and hands-on approach.
Designed for beginning design and typography students, this text assists students in understanding and demonstrating the basic principles of typography. Focused on intent and content, not affect or style, it makes informed distinctions between what is appropriate and what is merely show. Filled with examples, exercises, and background information–and designed itself to reflect good typographic design–it guides students systematically to the point where they can, not only understand but, demonstrate basic principles of typography, and thereby strengthen their own typographic instincts.

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·    The design of the text itself demonstrates the points made—It FEELS like a typography book.

o    Allows students to see for themselves—as they work through the text itself—how specific choices and uses of type support the effectiveness of intent/content.

·     Written specifically for beginning students—Uses simple points, simple language.

o    By “beginning at the beginning” and stepping carefully through each concept, the text ensures that no student is discouraged or left behind along the way.

·     Numerous simple examples—Features examples that, for the most part, reflect what was, and still is, possible on a simple type press (yet assumes that students have a working familiarity with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress).

o    Provides students with a rock-solid foundation for any typographic design problems they may encounter in the future.

·     A focus on intent and content, not affect or style—Makes informed distinctions between what is appropriate and what is merely show, especially in terms of the array of typos generated by computer users (outline type, bad letter spacing, distorted letterforms, impossibly tight leading, no distinction between display and text typography).

o    Prepares students to pick and choose carefully and critically among all the typographic resources available to them today.

·     Numerous basic hands-on exercises—Exercises require careful hand-rendering of letterforms to approximate the experience of handling (metal) type—an experience the author feels best prepares students for understanding and appreciating all the nuances of type by first making your own.

o    Helps students hone their hand/eye coordination and develop a typographic sensibility.

  • Updated history and timeline (Development chapter) and include digital
  • Words & Phrases section updated and strengthened to include information ontype and colour
  • New sections on setting text for books
  • New section on type as image and information
  • Expanded and repositioned Grid Systems section
  • Companion website that includes examples of student work, discussions of best typographic practice for the web: www.atypeprimer.com  
  • Recommendations for a strong type library, links to typographic resources, appendices, further exercises, and an
    updated bibliography with more web references




Words and Phrases.


Simple Organization.

Grid Systems.

Appendix A: Macintosh Keyboard Layouts.

Appendix B: Typeface Survey.

Selected Bibliography.
John Kane teaches typography and graphic design at Northeastern University and at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. He has been a practicing graphic designer and teacher for the last twenty-five years.

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