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Re: Carl Dair's "Design With Type"
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: Carl Dair's "Design With Type"
- From: Richard Miller <rmiller@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 19:27:53 -0400
- In-reply-to: <199803110224.VAA08487@mail.peterboro.net>
- Message-id: <199803121129.DAA32152@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ron Koster asked about Carl Dair's book "Design With Type".
Dair's book is surprisingly unknown outside of Canada, except among older
typographic designers in the US, Britain and, interestingly, Scandinavia,
although it has been in print continuously for 30 years. Dair was fairly
well known in the 50s (he won a silver medal at Leipzig in '59) and was
invited to particpate in an international Bible typography exhibition (I'm
sorry but the name escapes me right now). His book was published in '67
(following an earlier version in '52) and was one of the AIGA 50 Books of
It is an excellent introduction to typographic design but falls somewhat
short as a manual of typography (which he didn't intend it to be). He
points out in his preface that his unfair assumption (in the first book)
that readers would have a basic understanding of typography has been
rectified by the addition of a new chapter for those "students of
typography who [have] never held a composing stick." Nonetheless, his
explanation and illustration of the (seven, I think) principles of harmony
and contrast set a standard which, to my mind, is unmatched today. As Ron
said: "simple, straightforward and easy-to-read,
and yet still comprehensive".
For anyone interested, the paperback version (ISBN 0-8020-6519-8) should be
available from the University of Toronto Press, Toronto and Buffalo for
less than $15.
Richard Miller <rmiller@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>