Wednesday, January 01, 2003
On the bookshelf …
I just finished reading a little book with the odd title “Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works“. This is a book on typography, more or less. The title refers to a quote from type designer Frederic Goudy. He was given an award, and didn’t approve of the typography on the certificate. Reportedly he said, “Anyone who would letterspace black letter would steal sheep.” The first page of the book promised that “by the time you finish this book … you will understand and be amused by Mr. Goudy’s pronouncement.”
I don’t think the book delivered. Like a couple of other typography texts I’ve perused, this one starts out strong but quickly degenerates into examples and handwaving. The authors “explain” with entertaining but shallow analogies to clothing, rooms in a house, and pictures of people.
I can only come to one conclusion. Typography must be art.