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Just My Type - Simon Garfield

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Christmas is a time for reading books you can dip in and out of between TV specials. My Christmas book of choice this year was Just My Type, a book about fonts.

My own interest in typography came from computing. Growing up in the 80s meant blocky 8x8 characters and dot matrix printers. Just My Type describes a mysterious parallel world of Apple Macintoshes, where letters came in many shapes and sizes. But my first encounter with this black magic had to wait until Microsoft cribbed their work in Word for Windows. OK, so it may not have the romance of the Mac, but there was the same intoxicating mixture of art and technology as the letters kerned themselves perfectly before my eyes. What could be cooler? (don't answer that).

My last literary encounter with the subject was an aside in The Art of Travel by the pop-philosopher Alain de Botton, who describes how the modernist lettering on an airport sign provokes the pleasurable feeling of being somewhere exotic. Just My Type is a who…