By Gerard Unger
240 pages, hardcover, $50
Published by nai010 publishers
Type design as a practice has deep cultural, historical and social roots. Gerard Unger delves into all of them in Theory of Type Design. This culmination of a lifetime dedication to typography is written with the serious student of letterform design in mind. However, the well-organized mix of historical context, typography basics and meticulous detail makes it an accessible read for all lovers of typography. Unger eloquently and accurately expresses that anyone embarking on the study of typography already has years of experience through the reading and observing of the written word, thus encouraging budding type designers to join the ranks of the masters.
Unger shows us the limitless nature of typography through his vast knowledge, love of the subject and thoughtful choice of images. Embedded too is a philosophical conversation about originality, expression and relevance that reminds designers to explore all possibilities and refine until perfect. “Although many type designers are very practical, a theory of type design is definitely of use, as it will broaden insights and can benefit the quality of the profession by stimulating debate,” Unger writes. This book is a resource that will push type designers to go beyond technical refinement of their craft and look to meaningful contemplation of letterform design.