By Brooke Robinson; contributions from Ken Barber, Jessica Hische,
Lauren Hom and Gemma O’Brien
288 pages, hardcover, $45.00
Published by Rizzoli
Goodtype: The Art of Lettering is noisy, eclectic and glorious. It’s more than 280 pages of lettering samples, with a foreword by Ken Barber and brief interviews with Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom and Gemma O’Brien. The foreword is insightful. The interviews are fresh, lively and provide a peek at what drives these three remarkable women. But it’s the examples of lettering that make this book grand.
The motivation behind Goodtype is Brooke Robinson’s insatiable love of lettering. She collected examples by the bushel—and stored them all on her phone. When she got to the point where she would have to delete samples to gather more, it hit her: she could upload all of the images to an Instagram account dedicated to her lettering and type finds. This was in 2013, and Robinson never looked back.
But there’s more to Goodtype than its collection of drop-to-your-knees lettering. In a world of bits and bytes, we seldom see design projects in their evolutionary stages. Goodtype, however, gives us a look over the designer’s shoulder as the lettering evolves. We’re treated to the rough pencil sketches (complete with editing notes) and predigital renderings that lead to the final art.
Buy Goodtype. Keep it close to where you work. If your typographic mojo falls flat, pick up the book. If you’re not sure how to handle a bit of display typography, pick up the book. If you’re looking for a young and talented lettering artist, pick up the book. —Allen Haley