Type Specimens

Preorder from Bloomsbury Academic Press (Jan 2022)

Type Specimens: A Visual History of Typesetting and Printing (Bloomsbury) explores founders’ and printers’ specimens as a way of understanding the visual format and professional practice of the specimen, as well as the ways that prior global typographic exchange shapes today’s design landscape. With 250+ images of specimens from 24 countries and in 15 scripts, the book takes design’s global past seriously without minimizing the discipline’s history of colonization and cultural imperialism. As a design researcher and educator, I wrote a book I wanted in my own typography and design history classrooms. It’s a complex, sometimes beautiful but sometimes ugly, and more importantly than anything accessible and image-rich account of how typefaces and typographic technologies travel across space and through time. There’s a visual glossary with 300+ illustrated terms, helping novices understand type and its technologies by looking. After almost seven years of working on this project in between other, smaller research projects, I’m thrilled to see this book in print and on e-reader screen in January 2022.

By dorigriffin

Graphic designer, design historian, bibliophile, typophile, classical music groupie.