Finishing this book has been a bit of a marathon. I have been reading it in small bursts whilst at work. As it is a factual book, this is not an issue, and the short chapters make this a viable proposition. It was bought for me as a surprise present and it has a number of commendable features (in my opinion). It is heavily detailed and rather expertly describes the nuances of fonts and how they work in our text based environment. There are also a lot of very human stories behind the designers of fonts, with all the usual intrigue and politics you might expect where opinion can be so sharply divided. There is a lot which is of interest here, but I can see that its appeal will be very narrow. My argument against it would be that it reads like a series of newspaper articles on the subject of type and fonts.
I do have to congratulate the author for not falling into the obvious trap of bashing comic sans for all its worth. This seems to be a default setting for those who are distinctly “hard of thinking” and seems to be a knee jerk reflex for many who would apply the same derision to anyone who would describe themselves as religious.
The author gives credit to good typography and saves his derision for the truly appalling. The very worst font (as deemed Garfield) is a true horror and has very little to commend it to anyone. I’ll not reveal it here, the nerdy will know in any case, and anyone else can just go and pick up the book and read it.