Theodore Rosendorf
Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, DE, 2009, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
ISBN: 9781584562313

From the Publisher. The Typographic Desk Reference (aka TDR) is comprised of a thousand facts on the form of Latin-based writing systems. The book includes the following four main sections: Terms—Definitions of format, measurements, practice, standards, tools, and industry lingo; Glyphs—The list of standard ISO and extended Latin characters, symbols, diacritics, marks, and various forms of typographic furniture; Anatomy & Form—Letter stroke parts and the variations of impression and space used in Latin-based writing systems; and Classification & Specimens—An historical line with examples of form from blackletter to contemporary sans serif types. Designed for quick consultation, entries are concise and factual, making it handy for the desk. The foreword is written by Ellen Lupton.

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Erik Spiekermann

For all your friends who want just one volume that helps them understand what makes a good book and an easy-to-read page.

A beautiful book, perfect as a little present. Looks like a novel from the outside, bound in gray cloth with a black reading band and blind-embossed with TDR on the front, with the author’s name and the title running down the spine, embossed in black.

Theodore Rosendorf explains all the elements of a page and a book; the foreword by Ellen Lupton explains what a foreword is, and the author himself writes in the Introduction that this is “Usually placed after a foreword, preface or acknowledgement …”. This is followed by Terms, from the A series paper standards to work and turn/work and tumble. He then lists all the glyphs we may encounter, including—to his credit—those that may seem obscure to an American readership not familiar with all the diacritics used in languages beyond English, i. e., most of them.

Anatomy & Form shows and explains letterforms while Classification & Specimens shows just enough different alphabets beyond the boring classics as to actually make this a useful list. Further Reading shows a long and interesting list not only of books but also of websites, and the Index is one of the longest and most useful ones in a book of this kind.

All this is carefully typeset and beautifully printed. A fine book indeed.

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