Complete Typographer, The

Will Hill  
Total pages
August 2010
Related Titles


Appropriate for courses in typography, graphic art, desktop publishing, business, and advertising.

This hands-on design guide helps students build a foundation for the development of an individual typographic sensibility by providing a brief outline of the evolution of type, an introduction to the language and terminology of type and type setting, fundamental rules and conventions of professional practice, and key decisions on type selection and page layout. More typefaces are now readily available to a wider public than at any time in the past-this book presents a basis for the confident and informed exploration of a rich and vivid medium that continues to play a fundamental role in human communication.


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Directory of typefaces-Places the major type categories and typefaces into their historical context, introducing some key examples of excellence in contemporary type design as well as identifying the fundamental values that have sustained the continued use of classic typefaces over the last 500 years of print history. 


Undergraduate and postgraduate student work alongside the work of established professionals, so that students can compare their own work with that of their peers and study the work of experts.


Illustrations from both historical and contemporary sources identify the origins of different typographic styles, and provide examples of their use in a range of current professional contexts.


 Study notes at the end of each section help students evaluate how much they have learned.

New to this Edition

NEW--Focus on digital techniques

  • The third edition addresses the techniques and processes of digital font design, as font design media are becoming increasingly accessible and widely used at student level.

NEW--Written with student readership in mind

  • The third edition has been developed in response to the emerging profile of the book as a key text for beginning and intermediate level students.  It has been restructured to make more vivid and explicit corrections between key developments in type history and those classic typefaces that now exist in digital form, which students use on a daily basis.

NEW--Expanded historical section

  • The main typographical genres will be integrated more closely into the larger narrative of typographic history, and will be examined not only through their formal characteristics but by reference to a range of examples from across contemporary culture.
  • The history of type has been expanded to include more colorful biographical detail on key figures in the history of type in the US and Europe, and to include studies of some key current practitioners. 



Table of Contents

6 Introduction
7 How to use this book

Chapter 1
8 The history of type
10 Early movable type
12 The development of printing
16Offset lithography and photosetting
18The digital age

Chapter 2
22 Categories of type
24 Typeface classification
26 Humanist
32 Garalde
40 Transitional
44 Didone
52 Slab Serif
58 Grotesque
62 Humanist Sans
66 Neo-Grotesque
72 Geometric Sans
78 Glyphic
84 Blackletter
88 Script, Italic and Chancery
94 Decorated and Ornamental

98 Beyond classification

Chapter 3
104 Working with type
106 The typeface
110 Measurement
112 Typographic space
114 Special features
118 Selecting type
122 Alignment
126 Differentiation
128 Combining typefaces
130 Page layout
136 The grid
138 Display typography
146 Typography for the screen
150 Environmental typography
154 Hand-drawn type
158 Building a collection

Chapter 4
160 Catalogue of type

180 Usage
184 Glossary
186 Resources
188 Index
192 Credits


Will Hill is Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University (UK).  Prior to entering full-time academic employment in 1993, he had 17 years experience as a freelance designer in London, during which time he worked for many of the city's leading publishers, journals, agencies and design consultancies.  He is a member of Atypi (the Association of Typographique Internationale) and has written a number of papers on typography for international design and communication journals.