Just My Type

Just My Type

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts is a light-hearted collection of stories aimed at non-designers.

Just My Type

“Just My Type is a book of stories about fonts. It examines how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. It explains why we are still influenced by type choices made more than 500 years ago, and why the T in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters. It profiles the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, as well as people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook. The book is about that pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers, and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about. And beyond all this, the book reveals what may be the very best and worst fonts in the world – and what your choice of font says about you.”

Just My Type

Just My Type

Just My Type

“Typefaces are now 560 years old. So when a Brit called Matthew Carter constructed the now-ubiquitous Verdana on his computer in the 1990s, what could he possibly be doing to an A and a B that had never been done before? And how did a friend of his make the typeface Gotham, which eased Barack Obama into the Presidency? And what exactly makes a font presidential or American, or British, French German, Swiss or Jewish?”

Those are just a few of the questions considered in the book.

Just My Type

Just My Type

Just My Type

Just My Type

Just My Type

Author Simon Garfield isn’t a graphic designer or typographer so don’t expect an advanced study of typography. But fair play to the man for choosing a topic close to every designer’s heart, and (I’m halfway through the book) producing what I’m finding to be an enjoyable read.

Update: 26 September 2011
Alex pointed me in the direction of Paul Shaw‘s critical review: Not My Type. Admittedly, Paul knows infinitely more about type than I do, so I read his critique (and the comments that followed) with interest.

Just My Type is available to purchase from Profile Books or:

on Amazon.com
on Amazon.co.uk
on Amazon.ca

More recommended reads: A few good books.

← Older post

Newer post →


  1. Nice find, I’m definitely going to look into this book. That periodic table of typefaces sure would make a great poster to pin up. Anyway I’ve been wanting to add a few typography books to my collection and this one seems like an interesting read.

    Much respect David, thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m reading this at the moment too David! Actually really enjoying reading a book about type by a non-designer. Gives a very different perspective on it – a refreshing change.

  3. A good marketing slant by using the periodic table – what did you think of the book David?

  4. No probs at all, Jamie.

    Mark, definitely less jargon than in many of the design books I’ve read. No bad thing.

    Dave, started reading on my break in Tenerife. Nice collection of stories and a fun read so far.

  5. Nice choice David, I’ve had this book for a little while and it’s well worth the read. Would love to hear what other typography books people can recommend too.

  6. I just finished this yesterday. An engrossing page-turning read. Like the others, I too liked how it wasn’t written by a designer or typographer. These are the human stories behind typefaces.

  7. Love a good book to get into on holiday (Dan Brown’s last book was great). Great pics from your holiday btw.

  8. Jon Bybee

    Funny, that interior spread with the periodic table of typefaces is a variant of the one Camdon Wilde did for us as a poster and wall decal.

    Check it here: http://www.scribbleoneverything.com/prints/type-o-file/cat_49.html

  9. The choice of names for the fonts is almost as interesting as the fonts themselves – such as the connection between Gotham and Obama – so who is the joke on now?

  10. Hello Davis,

    My copy of just my type arrived today, it’s brilliant, very interesting, thanks for the reccomendation.

    Best wishes

  11. I loved reading it! Great stuff.

  12. I’m definitely a non-designer with the mind of a designer (or so I like to think) and this book may just be what I’m looking for. I’ll definitely put it on my Christmas list :)

  13. Its so amazing how the universe works.. how Helvetica is like Hydrogen in the periodic table. The most abundant element both in chemistry and in design!

  14. Jon Clark

    I’ve just found out that it’s been Radio 4’s “Book of the Week”:


The comment form magically disappears on posts older than a year.