The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson



The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson



Publisher’s Synopsis : The Field Guide to Typography explores and explains the myriad typefaces that we see around us in our day-to-day lives, from public transport liveries to computer fonts, from billboard hoardings to road signage. It presents over 125 typefaces - old and new, common and unusual - with photographic references to help 'font spotters' identify particular letter forms in the wild. Accompanying background information explains the origin, usage and key features of each typeface, while 'Field Facts' provide little-known nuggets of information to expand your typographical awareness.

Attractive and informative, The Field Guide to Typography is a vital visual reference for novice font fans and experienced designers alike, and a celebration of our expanding typographic world. .

Foreword to the book by Stephen Coles:
Type enthusiasts acquire their odd passion through various channels, be it writing and language, or lettering arts like calligraphy, or simply a penchant for the most basic element of graphic design. My road to fontdom travelled a more circuitous route. As a young boy, I was a birdwatcher. While my peers were playing ball, I was scouring my neighbourhood for uncommon species. I volunteered at an aviary, caring for every winged thing, from rescued magpies to the zoo's prized Andean condor. The regular attendance at our local Audubon Society meetings consisted of a couple dozen grey-haired ladies and me, the 11 year-old blonde kid in the corner.

Birders, it turns out, have a lot in common with type geeks. They are acute observers (of course), but they are also preoccupied with identification, classification, anatomy and minute details that distinguish different breeds. Documentation is also part of every birdwatcher's life; the 'life list' - a record of every species they've ever seen - is an essential companion. (It could be interesting if designers kept a life list of all the typefaces they've ever used. Some of our lists would be much longer than others.)

Later, I learned that it wasn't so much the biology or behaviour of birds that interested me most. It was something else: a fascination with everyday things. The ordinary stuff that surrounds us is usually considered mundane, but it is actually full of variety, and intrigue, and clues that shed light on our environment and ourselves. These everyday things can be parts of the natural world, like birds, plants, insects or clouds. Or they in be part of the manmade world, the designed world that most people don't consider - door knobs, silverware, the guardrail on a roadway. And perhaps the most elemental and omnipresent aspect of everyday design is type.

Peter Dawson's Field Guide is not unlike the trusty books I carried on my birding trips. Once armed with photographs of typefaces in the wild, along with their natural histories and defining characteristics, anyone - even those without much typographic knowledge - can discover that what fascinates them most are the things that most people ignore.

1st edition, 2013, hardback, 384pp, full colour throughout, 20.8 x 15.7cm

The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson
£16.95 EUR 20.90