Teachers, show us your reading lists

Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 992
edited December 2015 in Education
Over at Typographica I’m gathering references for typography and type design courses. If you teach, please share your reading list here or there. I’d also love to hear your opinions on the items already listed.


  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,956
    edited November 2012
    I wrote this list in 2011. I would no longer recommended Lupton’s Thinking With Type. Jan Middendorp’s Shaping Text is a better introductory text in every respect; it covers more, is better designed, and Middendorp’s no-bullshit Calvinist writing style blows away Lupton’s inability to avoid academic bloviation. Feel free to re-use the text, but don’t bother linking, as my site is being redesigned and the old blog is not moving to the new site.
  • About Lupton vs. Middendorp … true that!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2012
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Generally, I create my own handouts. But it's partly based on other literature. If a student asks me, I recommend a few books, but most of them are in German, like Willberg’s and Forssman’s writings. I only recently discovered Indra’s book, a good and compact compilation of typography basics. Good format too for the classroom, by the way.
  • http://www.oert.org/en/the-project/ is still in construction, but will be a great resource once it's finished.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,098
    edited November 2012
    … bloviation …
    Thanks for enlarging my vocabulary!
  • Chris DeanChris Dean Posts: 10
    edited January 2013
    Not a reading list per se, but certainly a list from which I would select key readings for a hybrid typography + cognitive psychology course — http://readthetype.com/literature/
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 409
    James P - I'd never heard of Shaping Text, I shall investigate - thanks.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I teach in french so we don't have the same resources but there are these two websites among others that I always encourage to take a look at :

    Basic but lots of nice examples here and also available in spanish

    And for the ones interested in designing type (we normally don't go that far), this pretty old site by Briem, mentions some of the things to take into account like curve compensation and such.

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,863
    edited March 2013
    I don't do a lot of teaching, but when I do it tends to be focused on understanding writing systems and how they work, rather than design per se. This is a select bibliography and a couple of web resources that I compiled for MA students at Reading in 2008. Possibly there are some newer titles I've not read yet. [I've submitted a proposal to run a version of the relevant workshop before TypeCon this year.]


    Akira, Nakanishi. Writing systems of the world: alphabets, syllabaries, pictograms. 1990. Tuttle.

    Campbell, George L. Handbook of scripts and alphabets. 1997. Routledge.

    Coulmas, Florian. The Blackwell encyclopedia of writing systems. 1996. Blackwell.

    ——— Writing systems: an introduction to their linguistic analysis. 2003. Cambridge University Press.

    ——— The writing systems of the world. 1989. Blackwell.

    Daniels, Peter T. & Bright, William, eds. The world’s writing systems. 1996. Oxford University Press.

    Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. 1999. Cambridge
    University Press.

    Rogers, Henry. Writing systems: a linguistic approach. 2004. Blackwell.

    Sampson, Geoffrey. Writing systems: a linguistic introduction. 1990. Tuttle.

    And the web resources:

    Omniglot: a guide to the writing systems

    Paul Meier Dialect Service
    Interactive IPA pronunciation charts; Flash player required.

    The MA students had great fun with the Paul Meier sound recordings: twelve people in a room with laptops all playing IPA consonant pronunciation examples at the same time sounds like an avant garde music project.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,366
    the Paul Meier sound recordings
    Well there goes my afternoon.
  • Seriously. One you should read, whatever you are doing;
    One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,098
    The modification of letterforms by Stanley Hess.

    This offers a simple conceptual framework for understanding the way that different styles of alphabet relate to one another.

    An alternative to the stroke-based theory of Gerrit Noordzij.
  • The modification of letterforms by Stanley Hess.
    This would be +1 on my list of out-of-print books that need an update. It’s got problems, but I’ve never read a better conceptual framework for planning type families. I think Hess is a painter in the Southwest now, someone should get permission to do an updated edition.
  • I have this page (in french) about few books I recommend to our #ecvmdt students

  • Reading list for incoming students to MATD program at the University of Reading:

  • "Cómo crear tipografías" is the best available book on type design. If you can read Spanish (or Portuguese) just buy it. The English version is in preparation.
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