Review: Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography – Alex W. White

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Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography
Alex W. White

Allworth Press
Street: 01.01.05

Thinking in Type is lauded by Ed Benguiat, a typographic designer, as being “a practical, exciting reference book,” so you can imagine my disappointment when I came to find out that such a highly praised book on something I know nothing about, i.e., graphic design/typography, turned out to be an ironic display of self-indulgent pageantry on the history, culture and education of said topic. The book constantly stresses one main point: the need to use proper white spacing, font, etc., to convey the correct meaning for the correct content, but the odd thing is that the book goes ahead and breaks this rule time and time again with words bleeding over from one page on to the next, putting distracting history and culture lessons of type facing awkwardly on the opposite page, and furthermore, cluttering the pages with all sorts of superfluous imagery. The book, while interesting in nature, is pompous and hard to read. It makes the reader work for information that should be more readily accessible and interesting instead of having to wade through mountains of information groaning, kicking and screaming. –Erik Lopez