Typography: A Very Short Introduction [#584]
Typography: A Very Short Introduction [#584]


  • Offers an accessible account of typography, drawing on its history, theory, and practice
  • Demonstrates the growing importance of our own typographic decisions as communication is increasingly digitalised
  • Examines the underlying principles applicable to any verbal graphic communication
  • Considers why certain typographic choices are made, and the issues behind them

Typography, the art of designing printed words, was once the domain of an elite few artists but has become an area with which millions of people engage daily. The widespread usage of digital devices from laptops to tablets and smart phones which are used for written communications means that we are regularly asked to make decisions about the fonts, sizes, and layouts we use in our writing. This broadening engagement with the field of typography has led to a perceptible shift from debates about legibility and technicalities to conversations about which fonts best reflect the writer's personality or style .

In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Luna offers a broad definition of typography as design for reading, whether in print or on screens, where a set of visual choices are taken to make a written message more accessible, more easily transmitted, more significant, or more attractive. Considering the development of letterforms and the shapes of letter we use, Luna discusses the history behind our modern day letters and fonts, before considering the issues behind key typographic decisions, and the differences between printed and on-screen typography. Presenting any piece of typography as a fundamental design choice, Luna introduces the options available today, and explores the reasons why key typographic decisions are made.


1: Perfect letters
2: Practical letters
3: Presenting language
4: Genre and layout
5: Persuasion, information, art
6: Picture language
7: Evidence for design decisions
8: Positive typography
Appendix 1: Dogma for designers
Appendix 2: Good practice in typesetting
Further reading


Paul Luna, Emeritus Professor, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, University of Reading
Paul Luna is Emeritus Professor of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Before this he was head of corporate design at Oxford University Press and responsible for the design of major publications such as the Oxford English Dictionary, bilingual dictionaries, the Oxford Shakespeare, and the Revised English Bible.

""Enjoyable and accessible ... Luna is an ideal guide. A particularly fascinating section on the different ways in which readers read, informed by psychologists studies, should be of interest to all readers, as well as to anyone who hopes that their words will be read."" - Nancy Campbell, Times Literary Supplement

""Paul Luna has written a very thorough explanation of typography as a subject and a practice. The book is not aimed at practitioners but at an intelligent general audience [it] does not teach you how to do typography; it teaches you how to think about typography. I have been waiting for a [VSI] volume on typography. This is it. It was worth the wait."" - John D. Berry, Eye Magazine

"This 176-page paperback takes a comprehensive and in-depth approach to the art and science of typography, and is written in a way that the ordinary person can easily follow. A great buy for typography beginners." - Tom May, Creative Bloq

"Paul Luna knows everything about Typography, that mysterious science, practised by many, understood by few. He shares his vast knowledge in terms that everybody will understand. Anybody who has to communicate with type (and who doesnt?) needs this book." - Erik Spiekermann, type designer, and founder of Metadesign, FontShop, and Edenspiekermann

"This is one of the most valuable books on typography I have ever read. This little book contains a depth of knowledge rarely found in books twice its size." - Rod McDonald, type designer and Typographic Advisor, Sheridan College, Ontario


ISBN : 9780199211296

Paul Luna
144 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Typography: A Very Short Introduction [#584]

Typography: A Very Short Introduction [#584]

Typography: A Very Short Introduction [#584]