For this top ten list, TypeBooks surveyed over 300 studios and independent designers for their favorite books on the letterform arts. As a bonus, we’ve also provided a runners-up list—the titles which almost made into the top ten. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey—you made this possible. If you’re looking for a particular book, complete lists by Author and by Title are available. You can also search for a book by author or title with our search engine.


Elements of Typographic Style, The* (2nd Ed.)
Author: Robert Bringhurst
Publisher: Hartley & Marks [1997]
ISBN: 0-88179-132-6
Binding: Paperback, 350pp.
*Read the TypeBooks Interview with this author!

Just as last year, Elements was most highly recommended in our survey.


Form of the Book, The: Essays on the Morality of Good Design.
Author: Jan Tschichold & Hajo Hadeler
Publisher: Hartley & Marks [1995]
ISBN: 0-88179-116-4
Binding: Paperback


Modern Typography: An Essay in Critical History
Author: Robin Kinross
Publisher: Chronicle Books/Princeton Architectural Press [1996]
ISBN: 0-907259-05-7
Binding: Paperback, 208pp, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"

4 (Tied)

American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century (2nd Ed.)
Author: Mac McGrew
Publisher: Oak Knoll Press [1993]
ISBN: 0-938768-34-4 (hc)
ISBN: 0-938768-39-5 (pb)
Binding: Hardcover & Paperback 400pp.

New Typography, The: A Handbook for Modern Designers
Author: Jan Tschichold
Publisher: University of California Press, Berkeley [1995]
ISBN: 0-520-07146-8
Binding: Hardcover, 236pp.


Fontographer: Type by Design
Author: Stephen Moye
Publisher: MIS:Press [1995]
ISBN: 1-55828-447-8
Binding: Paperback, 275pp.


Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works
Authors: Erik Spiekermann & E.M. Ginger
Publisher: Hayden Books [1993]
ISBN: 0-672-48543-5
Binding: Paperback


Typography Now Two: Implosion
Editor: Rick Poyner
Publisher: Booth-Clibborn Editions/Internos Books
ISBN: 0-688-16206-1
Binding: Paperback, 240pp, 10 3/4" x 8 1/2"


Design of Books, The
Author: Adrian Wilson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 0-8118-0304-X
Binding: Paperback, 159pp.


Essay on Typography, An*
Author: Eric Gill
Publisher: David R. Godine, Publisher [1993]
ISBN: 0-87923-950-6
Binding: Paperback, 144pp.
*Read the TypeBooks Review of this book!


Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design
Author: Walter Tracy
Publisher: David R. Godine, Publisher [1986]
ISBN: 0-87923-636-1
Binding: Hardcover