To the layman, all printing types look the same. But for typographers, graphic artists, and others of that lunatic fringe who believe that the letters we look at daily (and take entirely for granted) are of profound importance, the question of how letters are formed, what shape they assume, and how they have evolved remains one of passionate concern.
That exploration of letter forms, and their division and classification into "families" or generic groupings, is the heart of this comprehensive study. Written by an expert who has examined letters all his life, this monumental analysis of letter forms considers a broad and representative range of international typefaces. Lawson explores the vast territory of types, their development and uses, their antecedents and offspring, with precision, insight, and clarity. From Garamond to Bembo to the design and manufacture of sans-serif letters and newspaper types, this is the first full-scale investigation of typefaces since D. B. Updike's classic Printing Types was published in 1922.