By Geoffrey Dowding
As the title implies, this is not a beginner’s book on typography. Most of the techniques discussed by Dowding, although sound and well presented, may not be beneficial to the reader without a working knowledge of design and type. Experienced designers, be forewarned; Dowding is unavoidably influential in this tome—the result of his lifetime of experience in the typographic arts. At the same time, he cannot escape that experience. He is an unabashed traditionalist, a master of the craft.

So if you think you might already be too sensitive to type and layout, don’t read this book. I’m kidding, of course, but let me explain: illustrating with examples, Dowding discusses typographical layout solutions which often suffer from lack of attention to detail, then provides corrected versions for comparison. This method combined with a concise writing style and his authoritative voice, will undoubtedly heighten your typo-senses. You will begin to see mistakes where you read in blissful ignorance before. You will know why a given passage is harder to read than another (and no, it’s not necessarily the writer’s fault). And you’ll begin to realize—there are lots of layouts floating around out there that could use more than a little tweaking.

I don’t think that everything he proposes is necessarily right. For example, in the context of setting type for text—the omission of spaces after full points when followed by the capitols A, J, T, V, and Y. Although this is still logically consistent with his other principles, a possible sacrifice of legibility for color defeats what he wanted to achieve.

Still, I enjoyed reading this book and can safely say I will never look at another paragraph, sentence, or word, quite the same again. Having never seen the previous editions of this book, I cannot compare them, but this revised edition suits me just fine. The pages were faithfully composed employing Dowding’s own principles, which makes Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type a pleasure to behold.

—Delve Withrington

Cover, Finer Points in the spacing and arrangement of Type © 1995 Hartley and Marks Publishers
Click Here to buy this book Online!

Ordering Info
Related Publications:
An Introduction to the History of Printing Types by Geoffrey Dowding.
Delve Withrington is the founder of Delve Media Arts and the Publisher of TypeBooks.

Click here to Search TypeBooks
Click here for more Book Reviews...

Finer Points in the Spacing & Arrangement of Type (Revised Ed.)
Author: Geoffrey Dowding
Publisher: Hartley & Marks Publishers [1995]
ISBN: 0-88179-119-9
Binding: Paperback, 96pp, 5 3/4" x 9"

© Copyright 1997–2002 TypeBooks