I’ve always had a passing interest in typography as I was curious how some books, reports etc were much easier to read and assimilate than others mainly through the way they were visually presented. Because of this, typography’s a very relevant topic for writers as well as designers.
I’m a member of a local book club and last year we ended up reading Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido (Bloomsbury Press, 2010) – in case you’re interested, it got a 6 out of 10 rating!
However at the back of the book it had something I’d never seen before, a page entitled ‘A Note on the Type’:
The text in this book is set in Baskerville, and is named after John Baskerville of Birmingham (1706-1775). The original punches cut by him still survive. His widow sold them to Beaumarchais, from where they passed through several French foundries to Deberney & Peignot in Paris, before finding their way to Cambridge University Press.
It then goes on to describe details of the type.
I so liked the font (that I’d not heard of before), it’s now my default for all the notes and writing I do (mainly in Scrivener), I find it really easy on the eye.
Related to this, I recently came across a very clear site that goes through all of the key factors: Practical Typography:
This is a bold claim, but I stand behind it: if you learn and follow these five typography rules, you will be a better typographer than 95% of professional writers and 70% of professional designers. (The rest of this book will raise you to the 99th percentile in both categories.)
All it takes is ten minutes—five minutes to read these rules once, then five minutes to read them again.
The section on Sample Documents is especially enlightening.