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The Ten Commandments of Typography / Type Heresy: Breaking the Ten Commandments of Typography

This could be a great book if it bothered to go into any actual detail or offer any really compelling arguments for or against abiding by typographic principles. Instead, it offers two equally under-developed halves. The first half gives us the ten “commandments,” several of which are typographically context-specific, and each of which has barely a sentence of explanation or justification for why it should be followed. The second half of the book supposedly describes how, when, and why designers should have license to break the aforementioned commandments. Particularly over the last twenty years, there have been many interesting and valid arguments for the use of uniquely expressive typography that breaks the rules, but the best this book can muster is a plea to readers to be willing to put more effort into reading so that we designers can have more “fun.”

I was very disappointed with this book. It might have been an okay thesis project for a BFA in design, but that doesn’t make it worthy of publishing. I walked away from it no more enlightened or inspired than I was before. At least it wasn’t a waste of too much time – the book can be fully absorbed in under thirty minutes.