By Allan Haley
Prolific author Allan Haley’s latest book, Type, may be aimed at aspiring type designers but it also contains much to interest those who are not new to the business. Featured are descriptions of the tools and working methods of fifteen successful designers: David Berlow, Matthew Carter, Jean-Renaud Cuaz, Dave Farey, Tobias Frere-Jones, Jonathan Hoefler, James Montalbano, Jim Parkinson, Jean François Porchez, David Quay & Freda Sack, Robert Slimbach, Erik Spiekermann, Sumner Stone, and Carol Twombly. A list of each designer’s typefaces, a discussion of his or her recent work, and biographical information is provided in each profile. A ‘type timeline,’ brief glossary, and short directory of foundries are also included.

Haley’s writing style is pleasurably refined and comes across as authoritative without being didactic. His introduction, essays and tidbits sprinkled between the designer profiles are concise and quite informative. Any type designer will benefit from cogent observations that clearly derive from Haley’s years of experience in the industry.

My one issue with this book is its low editorial/production quality. Sure, it’s a nicely bound hardcover with some color illustrations, but it suffers from glaring shoddiness in its details. Dozens of typeface samples have been substituted with Courier due to their unavailability(?); the presence of an explanatory editor’s note doesn’t excuse this shortcoming. Widows frequent the pages, though they are outnumbered by rampant spelling errors. There’s even an instance (on page 22, top right column) of inexplicably truncated copy. This is surprising and all the more lamentable considering the book’s subject matter and its intended audience. One can only hope that a second edition will do better justice to Type’s worthy text.

—Delve Withrington

Cover, Type: Hot Designers Make Cool Fonts © 1998, Allan Haley
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Related Publications:
Phototypography: A Guide to In-House Typesetting and Design By Allan Haley
ABC’s of Type: Guide to Contemporary Type Faces By Allan Haley
Typographic Milestones By Allan Haley
Alphabet: The History, Evolution & Design of the Letters We Use Today By Allan Haley

Delve Withrington is the founder of Delve Media Arts and the Publisher of TypeBooks.

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Type: Hot Designers Make Cool Fonts
Author: Allan Haley
Publisher: Rockport Publishers [June 1998]
ISBN: 1-56496-317-9
Binding: Hardcover, 144pp, 9 1/4" x 9 1/4"

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