MacTeX Technical Working Group:
Typography References

Typography References

Everyone involved in book production should know something about the elements of typography and book design. The beauty of TeX is that it enables one to recreate the art of good design with digital technology. Some must read references to typography are listed here. See also references on the main TUG webpages on Typography including museums and a calendar.

The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst
Hartley & Marks, Publishers, ISBN-88179-132-6
All desktop typographers should study this book. It is not just one more publication on typography, like so many others on the market. It is instead, a must for everybody in the graphic arts, and especially for our new friends entering the field. Written by an expert, Robert Bringhurst's book is particularly welcome in an age where typographic design is sometimes misconstrued as a form of private self-expression for designers. As Bringhurst puts it: `Good typography is like bread: ready to be admired, appraised and dissected before it is consumed.' I wish to see this book become the Typographers' Bible.
-- Hermann Zapf

Digital Typography
by Donald Ervin Knuth
Univ of Chicago Press; Reissue edition (March 1, 1999), ISBN-1575860104
Most programmers who write programs for setting type have only a passing knowledge about the aesthetics of good composition. The programs are adequate, but to do a first-rate job of typesetting still requires a lot of handwork.

Donald Knuth has written a different kind of program. First of all, he spent considerable time learning the book compositor's art, and that shows in the details of TeX -- as with the oft-mentioned paragraph optimization routines. But more than this, TeX is malleable. It is a tool that lets skilled compositors automate more of the niceties of fine composition, rather than having to add them by hand.

What makes TeX an exemplary program is that the skills and knowledge of various people can be added to the program for all to use, whether or not they actually possess that knowledge and skill. Isn't that the finest purpose of a computer program?

-- Charles Ellertson

Free e-texts on Typography
including publishing, research, standards, and TeX
by William Adams
This is a collection of links to some of the significant free electronic texts on typography which are freely available on-line.

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