Peter Fraterdeus wrote:
>Would be interested in your critique of ESs book. Is it too German? Gerry?
Not exactly sure what the German reference means. Spiekermann?
If so, Spiekermann’s well received work for the Unified Berlin Transport
Authority seems to be quite absent from _Stop Stealing Sheep_. I
reviewed the first edition in an old _AbraCadaBrA_ and if I were to
review the second I doubt I would change much.
Essentially, the book panders, a lot. It came out about the same time as
Bringhurst's initially, but where _Elements of Typographic Style_ sought
the high road, _SSS_ definitely went the other way. I'm not sure how
much of this is Adobe's ( the publlisher) fault. I suspect there is
something going on there. Adobe came out with its desperate Wild Type
collection about the time _SSS_ was in manuscript form.
_SSS_ is a 90s reworking of Spiekermann’s earlier book, _Rhyme & Reason:
a typographic novel_ (H. Berthold AG, 1987), which had a bit more
substance and was a bit more accessible, though in retrospect was
indicative of the cuteness and cleverness and entertainment that would
follow. But in terms of information design, _SSS_ is completely lacking.
It is quite difficult to know where you are or to find out what you
need. (The useful information that is provided, can easily be found in
other sources.) Since the book seems to be aimed at the "newly
initiated" to fontography it seems a bit odd that it doesn't provide
useful directional aids for the reader.
The second edition seems to have been revised a tad to include a
contemporary awareness of the impact of the internet, to tone down the
"effort" to be 90s hip (not very successful), and to include more
samples of current fontography, less grunge, and more of what we would
consider today, classic fonts, especially, Adobe fonts.
But even though the authors' apologize for screwing up Goudy's dictum,
he meant "blackletter" not "lowercase," they still miss the significance
of why he said it.