New 672-page book: "Type Directory"

Just came across this new book, Type Directory, by Peter Dawson. Seems like quite a collection.

Here's a snippet: "I am delighted to be able to now share a sneak preview of my new book, Type Directory which will be published in November by Thames & Hudson. With a foreword by acclaimed American type designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the book contains a collection of over 1800 typefaces, spanning nearly 600 years of typeface and design history. The 672-page collection of typefaces is organised by type categories: Serif, Sans Serif, Display and Script, sub-categorised further by style."

More info and images found at the link.


  • Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian
    edited October 2019
    I wonder how much of it is about non-Latin...
  • John Savard
    John Savard Posts: 1,099
    edited October 2019
    I wouldn't be overly surprised, and would not take it as a fault of the book, if the answer were "hardly any", or "none". Despite the book covering over 1800 typefaces in 672 pages. (The "sneak preview" showed only pages about typefaces for the Latin script, but one sans-serif face got extensive enough coverage that we saw it also supported Cyrillic and Greek.)
    It would make sense for each script to have a book of its own, so that type designers wishing to publish in their own language would receive value for money in paying for pages applicable to the task they face.
    What struck me was its length: 672 pages. Older books covering the selection of typefaces available in the 1960s or 1970s, the days of hot metal and phototypesetting, were already fairly thick. Today, in the digital age, the selection of typefaces available has burgeoned. Even 672 pages probably only scratches the surface of what is now out there... even for just the Latin script. Of course, if the selection includes all the best typefaces, being well curated, that may not be too great an issue.
    But we're getting to the point where any book attempting to cover, if not every typeface, at least enough to cover the whole of typography... would have to be digital, as something the size of the Oxford English Dictionary or the Encyclopedia Britannica would be unaffordable otherwise.
    As to non-Latin... Cyrillic, Greek, even Armenian, can for the most part make use of most typefaces originally designed for Latin. Many other scripts are too remote from Latin for this to be the case... Thai, Malayalam, Devanagari, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew... I suspect that the digital age that has led to the explosion of typefaces for the Latin script has also meant that at least amateur type designs are being made for these scripts in some numbers. The economics, of course, will mean the choices are more limited.