Font Geeks!

April 5, 2010


 Has anyone else been noticing a curious page inserted in the final pages of some novels – the “A Note About the Type”  page?  I admit at first I paid little attention but I must say I’ve become quite intrigued … Here is an example from “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill which so many of us  enjoyed  last year.

A Note on the Type  “This book is set in Carol Twombley’s Adobe Caslon, patterned after the typefaces of William Caslon I, England’s first great typecutter. His faces, the first of which was issued in 1725 , were used by Benjamin Franklin, in 1776, to set the US Declaration of Independence.”

Hmmm. Not sure it influenced my enjoyment of the book much but then again, I know I have read books whose type I have found irritating, or at least too small or poorly organized. James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces used a small font and no paragraphing to make a style statement – one that drove me bananas!  And remember reading Lori Lansen’s The Girls in which each “girl” had her own chapter in her own font? An interesting tool which helped clarify which voice we were reading.

The Penguin publishing group recently released an entertaining series of videos called Type Matters featuring discussion of fonts and type by book designers. They are entertaining folks! Take a peek and perhaps gain an appreciation for some of the behind the scenes work that contributes to your reading experience.

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