Loxley on Type

Written by Joshua Lurie-Terrell on April 12, 2004

I saw book designer Robin Loxley’s new Type: The Secret History of Letters prominently featured at St. Mark’s Bookshop across from Cooper Union yesterday, bought it, and read it on the plane home last night.

Loxley’s book is not a technical manual, but rather, as the title suggests, a popular history of type. Unlike Chappell and Bringhurst’s earlier book, which covers some of the same ground with a similar intention, Type is written like a novel, with the interplay of the great artists and technicians of the world of typography dramatized but never caricatured. Sometimes Loxley tries a little too hard to draw some of the earlier European type designers, filling in the blanks left in the historical record, but overall the reader gets a reasonably complete look at the people & forces that shaped the type design, -founding & -setting industries.

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