Book Review: Just My Type by Simon Garfield
I had bought Just My Type: A Book About Fonts while waiting in Kings Cross waiting to get home. It’s a book that I’d been wanting to read for a while. I’ve been fascinated with fonts ever since the early Macs got me trying out new fonts. Now, I find myself mostly stuck in my favorites: Helvetica, Times New Roman, News Gothic, and Bookman. I’ve already written elsewhere about my preference for Helvetica over Arial and why you should use sans serif fonts in figures, slides, and posters.
I’ve revisited this book and was motivated to write this review today because of a recent kerfuffle over at the Natural Environment Research Council. Turns out a bunch of scientists submitting proposals failed to check their fonts and sizes in their attachments, leading to the rejection of over a quarter of the submissions. If NERC is going to have rules, they should enforce them. That they have been lax in doing so led to the current upsetment within the community.
That being said, if you enjoy reading hidden mysteries and history factoids about your favorite fonts (and even ones you didn’t know you needed), then you will enjoy Just My Type: A Book About Fonts. Thirty-four little chapters about different fonts.
For your entertainment, check out this video “Font Fight”, featuring the Helvetica and Arial gangs.