Typography Books To Help You Learn Typography

Ahhh Typography – it’s a beautiful thing! From the flow and arrangement of type on a page to the mesmerizing curves of ampersands, typography is hands down my favorite element of graphic design, and if handled with care can really make or break a design.

I find, and I’m sure many would agree, typography is often what most designers struggle with in the beginning, including myself. Below are 15 typography books (with links to purchase) that I own and personally recommend that has helped me learn, understand, appreciate and absolutely love typography and type layout.


Thinking with Type


Getting It Right With Type


1,000 Type Treatments


Designing with Type


Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type




Made with FontFont


Comment to win a FREE copy! Continue reading below.

Making and Breaking the Grid


New Vintage Type


28th Type Directors Club Annual


29th Type Directors Club Annual




U&lc (Uppercase & Lowercase)


Discussion and Comments

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  1. [...] 15 Typography Books To Help You Learn and Love Typography | The Design Cubicle – A collection of essential books about Typography. [...]

  2. Ingrid says:

    I’m shocked that The Elements of Typographic Style didn’t make the list, that’s my typography bible. I have a few of the other books on the list but none of the others come anywhere near the thorough understanding of type that Robert Bringhurst’s book does. Good round-up though, thanks for this post.

  3. [...] 15 Typography Books To Help You Learn and Love Typography [...]

  4. Lara says:

    These books all look very interesting and have inspired me! I think the one I’m most wanting to purchase is Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type.

  5. [...] 15 Typography Books To Help You Learn and Love Typography [...]

  6. Vonnie says:

    My favorite of all time is Grid Systems by Josef Muller Brockman. It’s been around for ages, is awesome, and is a classic!

    I agree with some of the others, Designing with Type, Elements of Typographic Style, Thinking with Type, and Stop Stealing Sheep, are really good, and also some favorites.

  7. nikki says:

    Thank you for posting this!
    I’m just starting to get into graphic design, and this book list helps a lot! :)

  8. I have read all of them. Taught the courses, both at BFA and MFA level
    and am putting finishing touches on what I think will be the best of all.

  9. Wooow great books there! Actually i wanted to purchase Typomofo : Type Morphing into Forms published by Page One..

  10. Favorite book with typography: The Story Of Graphic Design in France by MIchel Wlassikoff. It covers typography in France between the 1500′s and the 1880′s. Amazing book, highly recommended.

    AND! Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister.

  11. tennesseev says:

    Thinking with type was our text for class last year….taking Typography again and really need to improve my use of type and could use a little more love for it as well. I’d love the free book! :)

  12. Making and breaking the grid is definitely one that I want to get, but now that you posted so many new one’s for me I don’t know what to choose!

  13. Ted Goas says:

    Thanks for the list Brian. You had some ones on here that I’d never seen before and am actually a little glad you left off some of the popular ones like “Elements…”

    You’ve also helped me add to my holiday wish list. Many thanks!

  14. Dan Nisbet says:

    The Non-Designers Type Book- I like Robin Williams style, and its a good, easy to follow book that I really think any designer should have in their library.

  15. I actually have Design with Type. I’d bought that when I was a student at Parsons in NYC for a course about book illustration. Yeah, way back when, when they just started offering computer design courses for creatives…

    Time has past and I’m no longer in NYC, but in Germany. If I could, I would buy almost everything that Verlag Hermann Schmidt has to offer. I love their book «Gestaltungsraster« which is a gorgeous book about grids, their »Schriftmischmusterbuch« which is a compendium of typefaces in different weights printed on pages that are cut into thirds, (kind of like the childrens picture books where you can mix the head to the body to the feet) so that you can mix your type, which is what the title means. Its affordable and fun. They have a Typodarium, a daily calendar for typeface fans… I could go on and on.

    Made with FontFont is definitely a book that I’d go for.

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  17. Tony says:

    Making and Breaking the Grid looks like a must-read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. sn0flke says:

    Lovin’ the list. One of my faves is Lupton’s “Thinking w/type”. “Making and Breaking the Grid” is on my wish-list.

    Some other books I’ve enjoyed or am currently enjoying is Typography Workbook / Samara / Rockport pub and Typographic Design: Form and Function / Carter, Day, Meggs / Wiley pub. Check’em.

    Thanks Brian. I’ve become a big fan of ya!

  19. david hoogland says:

    Not a book that would be used the same way as the above mentioned, but I just like it a lot. I’m sure that anyone who is into type would love to own this book.

    The book is called:
    The Ten Commandments of Typography / Type Heresy: Breaking the Ten Commandments of Typography.

    Book was written and designed by Paul Felton.
    The foreword was written by Jonathan Barnbrook.

    More images here:

    Buy the book here (it’s just got a different cover then the one I have… don’t know if there’s any other difference).

    Thanks for another great post! =)

  20. Ricky says:

    Dear All,
    But I personally like The_Elements_of_Typographic_Style…

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  22. Shelby Stone says:

    Stop Stealing Sheep and Learn How Type Works is a book I am reading right now and love it. It explains everything in a way that someone can understand and apply those principles. I like the list and I want to check some of them out for myself.


  23. [...] Here is a helpful post of “15 Typography Books to Help You Learn and Love Typography“. [...]

  24. [...] 15 typography books to help you learn and love typography by The Design Cubicle [...]

  25. Just picked up “Designing With Type”, I hope it’s as intriguing as the cover.

  26. awesome site…just love typography as a designer.Love propotions and scaling the most into with style…

  27. Amanda says:

    Lots of great resources on there. I’m going to have to check out Layout, seeing as there are many typophiles that recommend it. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by behoff: New Post: 15 Typography Books To Help You Learn and Love Typography http://bit.ly/81Mai + FREE Typography Book GIVEAWAY!…

  29. I don’t really have a favourite typography book, those I have read haven’t been as interesting as I thought. However, ‘The Ten Commandments of Typography + Type Heresy ‘ by Paul Felton is a really interesting read. Teaches a bit about typography in a different, more humorous way than any other book I have read. I highly recommend it!

  30. heather says:

    while i’m inclined to recommend lupton’s thinking with type, seeing that i’m in baltimore and everything. but if i had some extra dough, i think i’d get making and breaking the grid because it’s embarrassing that i don’t already own it!

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  32. Great list! I have a Borders coupon I am itching to use ;)

  33. michelle says:

    Actually even before I saw the free offer I was drawn to the book Made with FontFont. The bright colors instantly grabbed my attention. I currently teach Typography and its the hardest thing to teach to students. Not so much the technical terms but to actually love type like so many designers do.
    Much appreciated

  34. Justin Rigdon says:

    WOuld love a copy of Made With FontFont

  35. Kesia Barone says:

    these typography books are brilliant and would love to learn more about fonts and be able to create my own. i’m just finishing up my first year studying architecture and would love to be able to bring the interesting aspect of typography into my designs and presentation layouts. it seems that interesting fonts not only influence writing.. but also entire visual presentations and it’s always nice to be able to bring a bit of all the arts into one discipline.

  36. Audra says:

    thank you for this post. i build ads for the newspaper and my boss wants me to learn a bit more about fonts and typography as i graduated with a BFA in illustration and not graphic design. i’ve always been interested in it an i love modern graphic design, it’s just something that i’ve had a difficult time doing as it’s something i only had a couple classes on. i think “Getting it right with type” and “grid systems” look interesting. I’ll have to take a closer look at them at the book store!

  37. david says:

    Hi Audra.
    What might also fuel your knowledge is to sign up with http://www.typophile.com. It’s a great forum about type with a lot of very lovely friendly people who share a lot of knowledge. Also check out twitter lists for typography and typographers. You will get a lot of type stuff there. It will definately get you more into type.

    Type is a neverending, but fun road to travel, so good luck and enjoy! =)

  38. Federico says:

    You shold really add ‘Elements of Typographic Style’ by Robert Bringhurst.
    It seems to be the absolute reference out there.
    You can find a free followup website focused on web typography here http://webtypography.net.
    Hope this helps somebody :)

  39. Just want to add a thanks for the article.

    The new site is stunning and it really stands out of the crowd.

  40. My first comment disappeared :|

    I was supporting ‘The Elementents of Typographic Style” as a must-have and added a link to his free web counterpart at webtypography.net

  41. Great list, and I’ll definitely be purchasing some of these.

  42. FeryKloucek says:

    Thanks for sharing this great list. I’ll buy and read some of these books for sure.

  43. Rob says:

    I just gotta say, Bringhurst is such a blowhard. I own the book and find it unreadable. For being named similarly to Strunk & White – it reads nothing like it.

  44. Here’s a new one for your list if you like the ‘modern’ greats of Dutch type design – Dutch Type published by 010 Publishers in Holland, written by Jan Middendorp. It’s the only book I’ve bought which costs over £50 but boy is it worth it! As one reviewer writes “Buy it if you are a wealthy one or want to spoil one you know.”

  45. Abe says:

    Pretty Comprehensive List… I’m new to this so will be buying a few of them.

  46. Kate says:

    I am also very, very surprised that Bringhurst didn’t make the list. Then again, Elements of Typographic Style is hailed as the Typography Bible, so perhaps it’s regarded as a given that people who want to learn will already have that one on the shelf.

  47. Stanley Wood says:

    Type & Typography

    Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam

    ★★★★★ (read this book)

Brian Hoff
About Brian Hoff: Designer, Writer and Speaker

I’m a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York who loves creating compelling and useful websites and memorable interactions across the web. When I’m not designing I can be found writing, speaking and occasionally part-time teaching at colleges — all on the subject of design. I started this blog to share my passion and experiences with designers and clients. I'm most active on Twitter; say hello: