Matthew Butterick
Jones McClure Publishing, Hosuton, TX, 2010, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
7 x 8.5 inches, paperback, 220 pages
ISBN: 9781598390773
Suggested Retail Price: $25.00

From the Publisher. Based on the popular website, Typography for Lawyers is the first guide to the essentials of typography aimed specifically at lawyers. Author Matthew Butterick, a Harvard-trained typographer and practicing attorney, dispels the myth that legal documents are incompatible with excellent typography. Butterick explains how to get professional results with the tools you already have—quickly and easily. Topics include special keyboard characters, line length, point size, font choice, headings, and hyphenation. The book also includes tutorials on specific types of documents like résumés, research memos, and motions.

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Erik Spiekermann

For your lawyer friend (we may not like to admit it, but we all have one at least):

As it says on the back cover: Good typography is part of good lawyering. Nobody has ever counted how many arguments or court cases are lost because of bad documents that were difficult to decipher, complicated language notwithstanding. I wonder whether documents are often impenetrable and impossible to understand because the author doesn’t want the other party to know what they’re up to – that is certainly the case with contractual documents. They need an expert to read, creating work for the legal trade. If a book works for lawyers, it’ll work for anybody who writes, edits and produces complex documents.

Matthew Butterick practices civil litigation in Los Angeles but has a background in design and typography. He has just released a typeface designed specially for these types of documents called Equity and has been running the website since 2008.

This is a pleasantly small but comprehensive book, written in a style that betrays Matthew’s background in communication. If your lawyer friend doesn’t go on to produce better documents after reading this book, it may be time for a new friend (released November 2010).

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