New ornamental type : decorative lettering in the digital age / Steven Heller, Gail Anderson.

by Heller, StevenLooking glass; Anderson, Gail, 1962-Looking glass.

Publisher: London : Thames & Hudson, 2010.Description: 189 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 26 x 26 cm.ISBN: 0500515026; 9780500515020.Subject(s): Graphic design (Typography)Looking glass | Type and type-foundingLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographyical references and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Expressive lettering and illustrated words: here is a kaleidoscope of highly animated text and type from a broad spectrum of styles and effects. Psychedelia, Hip-Hop, Gothic, flowers, smoke, hair, electricity, and monuments are just a few of the creative allusions for the dramatic and intricate examples inspired by nature, history, and just about anything that is visually provocative.Beginning with an historical overview of ornamental type and how it has evolved through the major creative periods from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, the book includes hundreds of contemporary examples from around the world, organized into three sections: History Lesson, Au Naturel, and Eclectic. Each includes a brief essay introducing the background, influences, and outstanding aspects of the graphic work so beautifully displayed.New Ornamental Type is an essential reference for practitioners and students, and for anyone who appreciates the sheer delight of type as illustration.

Includes bibliographyical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Ornamental type, as it is covered in the few available books on the topic, refers mostly to decorative styles that characterized industrial-age posters and catalogs. This original study considers early styles like Gothic and Victorian as well as trends from recent decades including psychedelic, pop, and hip-hop. Additionally, there is a section on type designed with natural material such as hair and twigs and a chapter on eclectic design that includes many examples of lettering combined with imagery. Heller (cochair, MFA designer as author dept., Sch. of Visual Arts) and Anderson (former senior art director, Rolling Stone magazine) compile well-written essays and effective illustrations from present-day designers in the United States and various European countries (a list of designers and web addresses is included); however, the chapter titled "History Lesson," which covers the history of decorative typography in fewer than 60 pages, seems short on content. VERDICT Recommended for art directors and advanced students of graphic design.-Eric Linderman, Euclid P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


This book by Heller (School of Visual Arts, NYC) and Anderson (SpotCo, NYC) is one of the best-designed and best-illustrated type books published in a very long time. It is a compendium of the new typefaces of the 21st century shown in actual use by practicing graphic designers. Because type designers are, typographically, in a neo-Victorian era, they use dozens of different ways to stretch, ornament, skew, and otherwise invent new letterforms. The letters celebrated here are digital characters rather than the wood type of an earlier age, but they are no less ornamental. The authors approach the subject by creating a new classification system; types are organized into categories such as electric, hip-hop, psychedelic, tech, chaotic, puzzle, green, ribbon, anthropomorphic, ooh la la, and many, many more (a personal favorite: Fella, for the indescribable work of type designer and calligrapher Ed Fella). These categories are completely unfamiliar to historians of typography, as are the types. Students, faculty, and graphic designers will thoroughly enjoy this wonderful, superbly illustrated book, an absolute necessity for anyone interested in the contemporary practice of graphic design. Summing Up: Essential. All levels. R. M. Labuz Mohawk Valley Community College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Steven Heller is senior Art Director for the New York Times & author of over seventy books on art, culture, & design.

He lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)