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The Typographic Universe

Letterforms Found in Nature, the Built World and Human Imagination

Steven Heller, Gail Anderson

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An inspiring sourcebook featuring more than 300 examples of unusual letterforms, either created from non-traditional materials or found in unexpected places

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Virtually anything can be used to make original typography and once you start looking, it is impossible not to see letters everywhere, from deliberate inventions – aromatic alphabets made of spaghetti, soup or spices, or contorted typefaces styled out of human handprints – to serendipitous and often short-lived discoveries – letters formed by chemtrails in the sky, negative spaces between trees branches and city buildings, cracks in plaster – to fading ‘ghost types’ painted on buildings in a pre-digital age.


'Remarkable … witty and innovative'
Another Magazine

'This typographic scavenger hunt will excite and inspire graphic designers, typographers and anyone who shares the current popular fascination with the world of typography'
New Design

'Deeply absorbing, whether read properly or flicked through … playful and highly irresistible'
Design Week

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 24.2 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Publication date: 4 August 2014

ISBN: 9780500241455

Contents List

Introduction / 1 Objectified / 2 Bodily / 3 Edible / 4 Industrial / 5 Elemental / 6 Outdoor / 7 Ghost / 8 Floral / 9 Animal / 10 Sculptural / 11 Vernacular / 12 Anarchic

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.