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Type Tells Tales

Steven Heller, Gail Anderson


An exciting, fresh take on typography which goes far beyond the letter and word, exploding the boundaries of typographic expression

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Type Tells Tales focuses on typography that is integral to the message or story it is expressing. This is type that speaks – that is literally the voice of the narrator. And the narrator is the typographer. This can be quite literal, for example when letters come from the mouth of a person or thing, as in a comics balloon. It can be hand lettering, drawn with its own distinctive peculiarities that convey personality and mood. Precedents for contemporary work might be in Apollinaire’s calligram ‘Il pleut’ or Kurt Schwitters’ children’s picture book The Scarecrow, or in Concrete Poetry, Futurist ‘Words in Freedom’ or Dadaist collage.

Seeking out examples in the furthest reaches of graphic design, Steven Heller and Gail Anderson uncover work that reveals how type can be used to render a particular voice or multiple conversations, how letters can be used in various shapes and sizes to create a kind of typographic pantomime, and how type can become both content and illustration as in, for example Paul Rand’s ‘ROARRRRR’. Letters take the shape and form of other things, such as people, faces, animals, cars or planes. There are examples of how typographic blocks, paragraphs, sentences and blurbs can be used to guide the eye through dense information.

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'Useful and attractive'
Times Literary Supplement

It's Nice That

'A gorgeous tour of the ways type can be integrated so thoroughly with text that the type itself helps tells the story at hand'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 34.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 332

Publication date: 6 April 2017

ISBN: 9780500420577

Contents List

Introduction - 1. POETICS: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti • Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman • John Cage • Walasse Ting • Barrie Tullett • Antonius Bui • Dylan McDonough • Dirk Hagner • Agrafka Studio • Allen Crawford • Bianca Bunsas • Herman Inclusus • Pedro Antônio Gabriel Anhorn • Warren Lehrer - 2. DRAMATICS: Francis Picabia • Leo Lionni • Robert Massin • Warren Lehrer • Maira Kalman • Molly Leach • Stuart Sharpe • Jonny Hannah • Tom Hingston • Peter Blegvad and Andrew Swainson • Patrick King - 3. MANIFESTO: Paula Scher • Paulo Soleri • Johanna Drucker • Richard Eckersley • Sawdust • John Hendrix • Isabel Seiffert • Lora Fosberg • Laurie Rosenwald • John Passafiume • Nick Reeve • Natali Cohen • NOT A BENE Visual (NBv) • Annie Vought • Jack Summerford • Oliver Munday • Carolyn Sewell - 4. MONUMENTAL: Alida Sayer • Ariane Spanier Design • Brian Rea • Daniel Patrick Helmstetter • Lust • Timothy Goodman • Rogers Eckersley Design (RED) - 5. CLASSICS: Kiril Zlatkov • Sam Winston • Damián Sena • Hermes Mazali • Pilar González Bergez- 6. TYPOPLAY: Fortunato Depero • Corita Kent • Marian Bantjes • Philippa Wood • Cyla Costa • Church of Type • Wael Morcos • Ebon Heath • Angie Butler and Philippa Wood • Chank Diesel and Anne Ulku • Brian Scott Bagdonas • Jamie Clarke • Jason Permenter - 7. ALPHABETICS: Bruno Munari • Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich • Ross MacDonald • Milton and Shirley Glaser • Werner Design Werks - Designers & website list

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.

Gail Anderson is the creative director at Visual Arts Press at the School of Visual Arts and a partner at Anderson Newton Design. With Steven Heller, she is the author of New Ornamental Type and The Typographic Universe, both published by Thames & Hudson.

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