THE LETTER JESTERS by Cathryn Falwell


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Letters are everywhere,"" begins this joyous first look at typography, in which two jesters and their little dog romp through a simple, but by no means simplistic, presentation of typefaces and their uses. Samples found in such varied places as on a popcorn container, a stop sign, and a circus poster lead into a broad range of faces, with more than 70 samples chosen for their wide use, historical significance, and intriguing names or appearances. A few succinct, well-chosen words elucidate such basics as the difference between light and bold faces, the origins of roman and italic letters, how type is measured, and serifs. A final sequence demonstrates how type can declare a mood or echo a subject. Whether juggling the letters that compose a word or sliding merrily down a giant italic ""A,"" Falwell's (We Have a Baby, 1993, etc.) three bell-capped impresarios, rendered in flat, bold colors, are graceful and marvelously expressive against the clean white ground. But the letters steal the show. This lucid, beautifully organized and designed book is a splendid introduction to an often overlooked art that is, indeed, everywhere.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields