The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography

by Ruari McLean

Thames and Hudson, 1980

readability rating
4 star readability rating A clear introductory view of typography.
content rating
3 star content rating Excellent content, though perhaps not as useful to the bookbinder as to other professions.

As with the other Thames and Hudson manual that I use in binding, this book is clear and informative. It presents a good historical background of printing, lettering and type design, then tries to make sense of the complex and confusing world of font nomenclature. It includes detailed sections on typography in various industries, and is at least partly aimed at people who want to make a career of it.

The Good Stuff
Although the book contains a lot of technical information, it is aimed at the lay reader, and presents its concepts in plain English. There are copious illustrations and examples to aid understanding.
Could Do Better
Like all books on typography and the printing industry, it is sadly out of date. The techniques of printing and book production have moved on substantially since it was published, although the principles underlying the book are still sound.
Best Bit
Throughout the book, in the outer margins, the text is supplimented with illustrations and examples of various type and letter styles. It can be intriguing to leaf through the text and allow the illustrations to draw one into the topics they support.