ellen lupton


Thinking With Type By Ellen Lupton.

What kind of typeface should I use? How big do I set it? How should those letters, words and paragraphs be aligned, spaced, ordered and shaped? Thinking With Type answers these questions and more, providing clear guidelines for Designers, Writers, Editors and Students on how best to arrange their written content.

Type is the foundation of print and web design. Everything you need to know about thinking with type, you will find here. This richly detailed update to the classic text belongs on the shelf of every designer, writer, editor, publisher, and client.”  -Jefferey Zeldman-

Thinking with Type is the definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen. This revised edition includes forty-eight pages of new content, including the latest information on style sheets for print and the web, the use of ornaments and captions, lining and non-lining numerals, the use of small caps and enlarged capitals, as well as information on captions, font licensing, mixing typefaces, and hand lettering. Throughout the book, visual examples show how to be inventive within systems of typographic form—what the rules are and how to break them. Thinking with Type is a type book for everyone: designers, writers, editors, students, and anyone else who works with words.

An official web site is set up as a classroom companion to Thinking With Type. Lupton has provided a syllabus, sample chapters, exercises and handouts for download in high-res PDF format. If you’re still not convinced about the quality of this title yet, I would suggest you head over to the site to download the sample pages and judge for yourself.

Compared to the more common encyclopaedic approach to design theory books, Thinking With Type is easy to understand, engaging and fun to read. The tone of this book is what really makes it special and is why I can’t recommend it enough.

Fin this book on Amazon:

USA: http://amzn.to/11XeNfE
UK: http://amzn.to/19sEetW

Looking for summer reading suggestions?

Designers & Books has plumbed their archives to pull together recommended reading by ten female American graphic designers.

Included are some of the luminaries of contemporary graphic design in the United States: Ellen Lupton, Paula Scher, Deborah Sussman, Gail Anderson, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Louise Fili, Nancye Green, Carin Goldberg, Jessica Helfand, Zuzana Licko, and Jennifer Morla.

Have you discovered any other resources that you think WOGD readers might find interesting? Drop us a line and let us know!

When choosing a typeface, graphic designers consider the history of typefaces, their connotations, as well as their formal qualities. The goal is to find an appropriate match between a style of letters and the specific social situation and body of content that define the project at hand. There is no playbook that assigns a fixed meaning or function to every typeface; each designers must confront the library of possibilities in light of a project’s unique circumstances
—  Ellen Lupton

An accomplished curator, writer, designer, and critic, Ellen splits her time between her home in Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City. I met with Ellen at The Grey Dog, where she recalled the path that led to her to the city in the first place, the “Aha!” moment that helped her merge writing and design, and the importance of teaching and sharing. But my favorite part of our conversation was her advice to give 150%; in Ellen’s words, “If you really want to build a powerful career, and make an impact, then you have to be prepared to put in blood, sweat, and tears,” and it’s true. So, friends, take it from Ellen: be willing to do the hard work. Yes, it will be worth it! —Tina

Read the interview →

Photo by Federico Rodriguez Caldentey

Tourist Book Report #43- Edited by Ellen Lupton, Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book is a must-have book for anyone into publishing. Measuring 7” x 8.5” and 176 pages in length, the book is conveniently broken down into three sections which span design, production and inspiration. As such, it’s a really great resource for first-time zine makers looking for instructions on how to make a book as well as veteran book makers simply looking for new ideas. With 270 color illustrations, the book is visual and has some really informative graphics (the best one being the editable ‘critical path’ titled ‘how will you produce your book?’). In our opinion, the standout elements of the book are its explanations of book anatomy (telling you what every book needs) and its survey of different ways to make unique books by hand. You can grab a copy here.


At Strand Books in NYC on June 26, 2014, Ellen Lupton and her students from MICA spoke about the book they wrote, Type on Screen: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Developers, and Students, available now from Princeton Architectural Press.