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Just My Type: A Book About Fonts [Format Kindle]

Simon Garfield
4.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Garfield says he's unable to walk past a sign until he has identified the typeface. Now, neither can we.' --Monocle

'A fascinating and quirky new book' --Nigel Farndale, Sunday Telegraph

'Hugely entertaining ... a lively history.' --Sunday Business Post

`A celebration of our way with words' --Observer

`Whether you're a graphics geek or have never given typeography a second thought, don't miss this quirky font fest.' --Lauren Laverne, Grazia

'A quirky introduction to fonts... Simon Garfield is careful to tickle as much as he teaches.' -- Peter Robins, Daily Telegraph

'His book comprises dozens of lovely vignettes, anecdotes that make a potentially dusty subject utterly compelling.' --Independent on Sunday

'A joy to look at as well as to read... encapsulates the romance and magical possibilities of type.' -- Sunday Business Post

`Chatty, anecdotal ... illuminates even a walk to the shops' --Sunday Times

`Just My Type is a font fanatic's dream' -- Word

`Superb... a fascinating and funny book that delves into the history and oddities of typefaces throughout the ages.' -- Big Issue

`Enthralling... fascinating... strikes a great balance between fact and humour. Reading this book may just change your life.' -- Time Out

`He's extremely knowledgeable about type history while ignoring the politics and egos.' --Steven Heller, FT

`A whistle-stop tour of fonts... Garfield's book will open your eyes to the array of typefaces that demand our attention.' -- Emma Hagestadt, The Lady

`Garfield is an entertaining and congenial guide to this ubiquitous but little-known world.' --Literary Review

Présentation de l'éditeur

Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers ... and typefaces became something we realised we all have an opinion about.

As the Sunday Times review put it, the book is 'a kind of Eats, Shoots and Leaves for letters, revealing the extent to which fonts are not only shaped by but also define the world in which we live.'

This edition is available with both black and silver covers.

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Commentaires en ligne

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4.3 étoiles sur 5
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un livre fun et instructif ! 4 janvier 2013
Par B. Lucie
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Un livre pour les passionnés d'écriture, de cinéma, d'histoire.... on apprend des tas de choses sur les polices de caractères, ce qu'elles signifient, comment elles sont nées, pourquoi elles survivent (ou pas) ; le tout par des anecdotes documentées, et relatives à notre quotidien. Après avoir lu ça, on ne regarde plus les affiches/ pubs/catalogues de la même façon !
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Si la typographique vous intéresse 25 octobre 2014
Par Elodie
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Livre fun et intéressant sur l'histoire de la typographie. A lire si vous travaillez dans l'édition ou si la typographie vous intéresse.
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0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un vrai plaisir ! 14 mai 2012
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ouvrage à la fois plein d'informations originales et d'humour! J'y ai appris plein de choses et l'ai dévoré en un rien de temps...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  172 commentaires
206 internautes sur 214 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Display Fonts, Invisible Fonts, and Font Wars 18 novembre 2010
Par Rob Hardy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
You are looking at it right now, and if it is doing its job, you don't even notice it. It might represent a creation that has taken centuries to come to its current state of perfection, or it might be something that a dedicated specialist worked on for years and brought out a decade ago. It represents artistry directed within a circumscribed realm. I am talking about the font in which these letters are presented. Thirty years ago, fonts were usually the interest of only a select few in the printing world, but now every computer is charged with fonts and everyone gets to be an amateur typographer (technically, the font is a specific set of metal parts, or digital files, that allows reproduction of letters, and a typeface is the design of letters the font allows you to reproduce, but you can see how the words would get used interchangeably). Simon Garfield is not a professional typographer; his role is bringing out fine nonfiction about, say, stamp collecting, history, or the color mauve. But he has an amateur's enthusiasm for fonts, and communicates it infectiously in _Just My Type: A Book About Fonts_ (Profile Books). This is not a collection of type designs, though there are many illustrations. In most cases it won't help you in finding out what font you happen to be looking at (but it will tell you how to do so in surprising ways). It is a book of appreciation for an art that is largely invisible, but is also essential.

I would not like to read pages set in any of the fonts in one of Garfield's last chapters, "The Worst Fonts in the World." On the list is Papyrus, which caused a stir when it was used extensively in the film _Avatar_. The expensive film used a free (and overused) display font, and font fans noticed. There was also a font war (also known as a "fontroversy") when in 2009 Ikea decided to change its display font from Futura to Verdana. The change inspired passionate arguments in mere bystanders, "like the passion of sports fans," says Garfield, and the _New York Times_ joked that it was "perhaps the biggest controversy to come out of Sweden." The biggest of font wars has had a comic edge to it, and it is the starting point for Garfield's book. Comic Sans is a perfectly good font. It looks something like the letters you see in comic books, smooth, rounded, sans serif, clear. Because it caught on and was quickly overused, there has been a "ban Comic Sans" movement. Even the heads of the movement, which is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, admit that Comic Sans looks fine, say, on a candy packet; but they have also seen it on a tombstone and on a doctor's brochure about irritable bowel syndrome. If you see a font and you wonder which one it is, you can take steps to identify it. Lots of people like to do this. It is especially useful to examine the lower case g. (The other character that reveals a lot is the ampersand, which, maybe since it is not a letter or a punctuation mark, appears in exuberant eccentricity even in some calm fonts.) That g has a lot of variable points; it might have a lower hook or it might have a loop, it might have a straight line on the right, or the upper loop might have an ear that rises or droops, and this doesn't even get into whether the upper loop is a circle, a long or wide ellipse, or has uniform width. Take a look at the g letters shown here, or in your regular reading matter, and you will be amazed at how variable a selection of even only a few can be. If you have your g, you can look it up in font books, but there are so many fonts now that no book comes close to showing them all. There's an application for the iPhone which allows you to take a picture of the letter in question, upload it somewhere, and then get suggestions of possible matches. Or you can go to a type forum and ask there, because there are lots of people devoted to hunting down this sort of thing. And they take it so seriously that, as on many internet forums, they get rather snarky about disagreements.

If you don't pay attention to fonts (and most of them do their work best by not calling attention to themselves), Garfield's entertaining book might get you started. There are chapters about the difficult matter of copyrighting a font, because if you design a good font it is easy to copy it, and there isn't much that can be done about font piracy. Font designers work for love, not money. There's a chapter on "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy white dog" and other phrases that show all the letters, or particular words that display a lot of the letters most important to font design. There's plenty of history starting with Gutenberg and the historical Roman types from which are descended many of the fonts we read every day. Between the chapters are "font breaks" to praise Albertus or Gill Sans and to tell about how they came to be designed, with plenty of anecdotes and other funny or sad stories. This is a delightful, amusing book about a whole world most of us take for granted.
54 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book on fonts...really? 22 janvier 2011
Par Jill Meyer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Simon Garfield is a British author who has written non-fiction works delving into everything from the history of AIDS in Britain, to the attitudes of the British during and after WW2. He's a splendid writer who concentrates on - shall we say - somewhat "quirky" topics. Case in point is his current book on fonts (or founts, as they used to be called).

Fonts came into being with the invention of the printing press in the late 15th century. It is shocking to realise that the printing of books for the masses has only existed for a fraction of man's existence. Books are such an integral of our lives that its amazing to think only 600 years ago books were owned only by the very wealthy or religious orders.

Garfield traces the history of fonts from their earliest days, paying special attention to those which we're most familiar with - Helvetica, Gill Sans, Arial, and Akzidenz Grotesk (a favorite of mine, if only for the name). He writes about the artisans behind the lettering, and most interesting, how certain fonts cause emotional responses in the people who view them. Why were some fonts popular for hundreds of years, only to fall from favor? How do fonts determine what consumers buy and what they don't buy? And how boring our lives would be if everything was printed in the same font.

Garfield has a lively writing style and is never boring. He gives a very good reference section at the back of the book, which is very helpful to those readers who want to know more.

By the way, if you're reading this, then be sure to read the review by Rob Hardy in this section. His long and interesting review is spot on - he's a reviewer's reviewer - and Rob's are the gold standard of reviews.
40 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Unexpected Five-Star Journey Should Be Everyone's "Type" 3 septembre 2011
Par Annie G. - Publié sur Amazon.com
I hope the (deservedly enthusiastic) reviews here from various "font geeks" will not lead general readers to believe this book is mostly for graphic arts specialists. I'm someone who generally pays more attention to what words have to say than how the letters are formed, and yet I found this to be one of the most enjoyable books I've read in years. Might have something to do with the author being from the UK, where clever writing is clearly emphasized and appreciated. For sheer writing quality, and therefore reading pleasure, it was an actual page-turner. To say nothing of the fun of the many short "Fontbreak" chapters and the witty visual samples and captions interspersed throughout (a good reason for buying the print version).
As I've previously found with works by Malcolm Gladwell & Atul Gawande, Simon Garfield's book was both fun to read an intellectually gratifying in its combination of light-touch prose and eye-opening history. It's not exaggerating to say this book has changed my whole perception of the reading experience from both a tactile and an historical point of view. Indeed it changes my visual appreciation of the world OUTSIDE of books in a way that hasn't happened since my sitting through two semesters of The History of Western Art in college! Immersed while on the crosstown bus, I found myself lifting my eyes to examine every awning I passed, wondering what is that font, how old is it, who chose it for this store or billboard, etc. etc.
Per Janet Maslin's rave in the New York Times, I really hope JUST MY TYPE becomes a surprise hit like Lynne Truss's EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES -- and for the same word-loving audience, not just (excuse the pun) graphic design types. It deserves it.
42 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Very Disappointing 28 juin 2012
Par Lowell Prescott - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Interesting subject. Fun preview chapter. Great looking book. Good reviews. What could go wrong?

This book commits the cardinal sin of taking an interesting subject and making it boring, and tedious, and distant, and even kind of snooty. There's no question that this SHOULD be a good book, but it's not.

After a couple of chapters I got the distinct feeling that I was at a very exclusive party where I didn't belong. The author drops obscure names of fonts and historical figures as if I should know them. Then he tells parts of stories, apparently assuming that I know more of the backstory than I do. He breezily concludes stories before they can be understood, or breaks stories into chunks which make them less comprehensible. He tells jokes which I don't get, because I don't have enough information (at least I THINK they are jokes). He writes as if only an idiot would have come to this party without being able to throw typographical terms around for humorous effect, and it would be positively gauche to stoop to explaining the basics to the reader with a blank look on his face. Perhaps it is just the nature of his all-too-British style, but his turns of phrase are oh-so-precious and it gets very annoying after a short while.

Here is a typically frustrating paragraph (page 93):

"Caslon may have modelled [sic] his types on those of the Antwerp printer Plantin, and his French typefounder Robert Granjon, and a part of their appeal was that they were specifically not German. Depending on the quality and bleed of the ink, the whole alphabet could also display a vaguely piratical cragginess."

Here are the problems: Neither Antwerp, Plantin, or Granjon is ever mentioned before this paragraph, and each will receive only one more casual mention (without biography or other contextual information) over 100 pages later. The concept of a "typefounder" is never explained or discussed, and the term itself isn't used enough to derive meaning from context (is it an employee? subcontractor? predecessor? mentor? collaborator? innovator? coworker? tradesman?). The characteristics and reasons for classifying fonts as French or German, or even the cultural issues of the era are never addressed anywhere in the entire book. The "quality and bleed of ink" sounds like a potentially interesting concept, but it is only ever mentioned in passing with no conceptual background. And "piratical cragginess"? Please.

By contrast, the preview chapter available on Amazon (about the overuse of Comic Sans) reads like it came from a completely different author.

The impression I'm left with is that this is a book for typography geeks -- and no one else. (The author spends all of half a page explaining the elements of a typeface, the characteristics of letters, and the process of design. I thought these were the subjects of this book!)

It wasn't until page 270 that I found a story of the sort I had hoped to find throughout the book. Paul McCartney tells about how the letters of the Beatles logo were created (or at least how he thinks he remembers it). The story is only about four pages long, so don't buy the book just for that.

In fact, unless you already know the creator of the Bembo font, or what to call the part of a letter which hangs below the rest, or how a typeface is "cut" or "founded", or what the difference is between a "font" and a "typeface", don't bother with this book.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Outstanding! 8 janvier 2011
Par Terry Rydberg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
If you love all things type related, you will love this book. It includes fascinating stories about type designers and the history of specific typefaces. This is my new favorite book, and it will sit on my bookshelf next to my second favorite book, A History of Graphic Design by Meggs. Beautifully written, and an essential resource for anyone who teaches typography.
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