Book of the Month for March: Typography Sketchbooks

Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico 

Typography is often considered the cornerstone of the graphic design discipline. While typography is an integral part of visual communication, it is diverse enough a field to be studied entirely on its own. Steven Heller goes as far as to claim “A graphic designer who is not fluent [in typography] is not a graphic designer.” With only its form, typography can deliver messages, evoke feelings, tell stories without the help of supporting imagery. It is one of the purest forms of design. While the computer added another dimension in which designers had to consider typography, for example typefaces created specifically to be viewed on a computer screen, many designers themselves are resorting back to hand lettered typography, or designing their own letterforms.

Typography Sketchbooks, Graphic Design

Typography Sketchbooks features typographers and designers and their work, finished and unfinished. The latter is much more intriguing in my opinion. Seeing their initial thoughts, progress, alterations through to the final product humanizes them as designers. It contains 350+ pages jam packed of photos of notebooks, tracing paper, computer renderings and beyond. Nothing seems to be off limits for these designers that focus their efforts on exploring typography through various mediums (trash included) and within several different environments.

The only content this book contains is a brief introduction and a small explanation from each of the designers introducing and defending their sketchbooks. Their pages do most of the talking for them. If you see a style you like, I suggest following them on your social media account to see where their work has taken them. To say this book is a visual delight is an understatement. It is carefully curated to fulfill examples of all parts of the design process and is an excellent inspiration to those looking to try hand-lettering or type exploration of any kind.

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