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Steven Heller and Louise Fili present a compilation of sixty years of stencil type and reveal why the primitive style still reigns


Low-cost and mass-producible, stencil type is the world’s most universally used style, seen on everything from bridges to bags, from street signs to packaging. And because they are an affordable means of mass communication, stencils are often employed by populist, rebellious and street-art movements.

Hundreds of international examples, chosen from the late 19th century to the 20th, are brought together in a compact package that will provide endless inspiration for typographical ideas. Packed with examples from a broad range of locations and objects – construction hoardings, footlockers, wine barrels, shipping containers and so much more – Stencil Type represents a unique and highly curated choice based on decades of graphic-design experience and knowledge.

This is a companion to the cult typography volumes Scripts and Shadow Type, perennial favourites among designers looking for fresh and unexpected ideas in historical type.

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'The first book dedicated to the history of the enduringly popular stencil typeform'
New Design

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 24.5 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Illustrations: 257

Publication date: 6 July 2017

ISBN: 9780500291900

Contents List

1. American • 2. French • 3. Italian • 4. Spanish • 5. German • 6. Dutch • 7. British 8. Eastern European

About the Author

Steven Heller is co-chair of the MFA Design: Designer as Author programme at the School of Visual Arts, New York. He is the author of many books, including Stencil Type, Graphic, Typography Sketchbooks, New Ornamental Type and New Vintage Type, all published by Thames & Hudson.

Louise Fili is director of Fili Design, a New York–based design studio specializing in vintage typographic treatments.