Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
A guide to typography. It draws in the reader with its design and layout, making use of more than 200 illustrations and photographs. It explains in everyday layman's terms what type is and how you can use it to enhance legibility, meaning, and aesthetic enjoyment. It also includes chapters on Web typography and other forms of online text display.

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works Details

TitleStop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 25th, 2002
PublisherAdobe Press
ISBN0201703394
ISBN-130020170339403
Number of pages208 pages
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Design, Art, Art Design

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works Review

  • Richard Derus
    November 18, 2012
    Rating: 4* of fiveThe Book Description: A classic guide to typography -- now updated for the Web -- More than 200 full-color illustrations and photographs bring the discussion of typography to life.-- Updated to include new material on Web typography and other forms of online text display.This classic typography book, first published in 1993, is now updated with brand-new typefaces, fonts, and illustrations. Internationally renowned graphic designer Erik Spiekermann explains in everyday terms wh Rating: 4* of fiveThe Book Description: A classic guide to typography -- now updated for the Web -- More than 200 full-color illustrations and photographs bring the discussion of typography to life.-- Updated to include new material on Web typography and other forms of online text display.This classic typography book, first published in 1993, is now updated with brand-new typefaces, fonts, and illustrations. Internationally renowned graphic designer Erik Spiekermann explains in everyday terms what typography is and offers design guidance in choosing type for legibility, meaning, and aesthetic appeal. Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works, 2nd Edition guides the reader through all aspects of typography, from the history and mechanics of type, to training the eye to recognize and choose typefaces. Uncover type's roots and placement within society and learn how to use space and layout to improve overall communication. This elegant guide for readers of all levels is revised and updated to discuss the particular design challenges of type on the Internet. Note: This title was originally announced in the October 2000 Pearson Technology Group catalog. My Review: Books about type are a guilty little pleasure for me, one I do my best to hide underneath a front of ignorance and indifference. People, by which I mean boring, unimaginative consumers of Stuff, are seriously snotty and cuttingly dismissive of typeheads when their difference comes to light. “My gawd, don't you have anything better to obsess about?!” is the most printable of the snarls I've had directed at me when I venture to observe a sign's efforts to communicate are vitiated to the point of incomprehensibility by the typeface used.But this book is so much fun, I will go on and review it, and inform the uninterested that their uninterestingness is showing. Don't bother commenting. I'll only be rude to you. Loudly and at length.Now...for the initiates, the Cool Kids...here's a hit from the hookah of type maven Spiekermann that will keep you snickering at the spirited writing and musing on history's chanciness at the stories he's telling. How a typeface survived in the days before the web is really a function of chance. The examples that the book gives are a hoot, the sample word he chose is “Handgloves,” which for no reason I can explain caused me to burst forth in gales of mirth, the defense of Comic Sans alone...!I learned a lot about the story of type. I learned a lot more about the role of type in problem-solving, social (Interstate signage, form design) and commercial (brand identity, book design) than I ever knew I didn't know. I had a rare experience all the while: I had fun.Not for everyone, for sure and certain! But a gas and a half for the amenable.
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  • spoko
    May 16, 2013
    Spiekermann and Ginger have, essentially, nothing to say. Unfortunately, they spend over 150 pages saying it. The worst of it is that there are all kinds of color photos, headings, etc., so the book is printed on heavy, glossy paper. This is bad because (a) glossy paper is hard to read text on (as ANY designer should know) and (b) both heavy/glossy paper and color inks are expensive. Thus, you must pay $20 for a book that could very easily be condensed into a $1.50 pamphlet.This book is often to Spiekermann and Ginger have, essentially, nothing to say. Unfortunately, they spend over 150 pages saying it. The worst of it is that there are all kinds of color photos, headings, etc., so the book is printed on heavy, glossy paper. This is bad because (a) glossy paper is hard to read text on (as ANY designer should know) and (b) both heavy/glossy paper and color inks are expensive. Thus, you must pay $20 for a book that could very easily be condensed into a $1.50 pamphlet.This book is often touted as an introduction into type because it is basic and easy to access. The problem is that it is too basic. If you know what a serif is, this book is too basic for you. If you know that it is possible to adjust the spacing between letters, words, or lines of type, then this book is way too basic for you—even if you aren't familiar with terms like letterspacing and leading. Get a book that will be a real introduction—if you're going to learn about type, learn enough that it will make a difference. If you want easy access, pick up something by Robin P. Williams (doesn't matter what—they're all about the same). If you really want to learn something, get Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style. Whatever you do, pass this book up. You could learn more, cheaper, from a high-school yearbook instructor.
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  • eq
    December 17, 2009
    I thought this book was going to give me a seizure. There were so many different fonts, images, margins... Did I mention fonts? They were everywhere. I get the point (or pica) - font matters. But did you have to put it everywhere? I can only look at "Handgloves" so many times in so many ways and mixed up in the overall book was just confusing. Font. Sigh. And what was up with the information in small, red font in the left margins? I couldn't make up my mind about what to read. Should I read the I thought this book was going to give me a seizure. There were so many different fonts, images, margins... Did I mention fonts? They were everywhere. I get the point (or pica) - font matters. But did you have to put it everywhere? I can only look at "Handgloves" so many times in so many ways and mixed up in the overall book was just confusing. Font. Sigh. And what was up with the information in small, red font in the left margins? I couldn't make up my mind about what to read. Should I read the main text? Should I read the margin? Or should I just look at the images. What a headache!I ended up looking at the pictures.p.s. I blame Joe Comeau for this.
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  • Elizabeth
    February 4, 2009
    If you are interested in typography, but maybe weren't taught much about it in say, art school, then you'll love this book. Every page was a wonderful introduction to something I simply didn't know, but was completely captivated by...rather, many pages were - I do know what a descender is and how to tell a sanserif from a serif. I'm no idiot.But, I'd recommend this to every graphic designer and type-nut.I'm definitely putting it on my essential reading list for my Fundamentals of Graphic Design If you are interested in typography, but maybe weren't taught much about it in say, art school, then you'll love this book. Every page was a wonderful introduction to something I simply didn't know, but was completely captivated by...rather, many pages were - I do know what a descender is and how to tell a sanserif from a serif. I'm no idiot.But, I'd recommend this to every graphic designer and type-nut.I'm definitely putting it on my essential reading list for my Fundamentals of Graphic Design module!
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  • Deane Barker
    November 16, 2014
    I can't recommend this book. It's a little ironic that the biggest problem with a book on type is its format.The book is divided into chapters, but each one is essentially a collection of mini-essays. In each two-page spread, the left page is an image of some kind, meant to illustrate what the right page is discussing. A couple problems:* There are no headings. Since each two-page spread is a mini-essay that is meant to stand alone, a heading summarizing what's under discussion would have been h I can't recommend this book. It's a little ironic that the biggest problem with a book on type is its format.The book is divided into chapters, but each one is essentially a collection of mini-essays. In each two-page spread, the left page is an image of some kind, meant to illustrate what the right page is discussing. A couple problems:* There are no headings. Since each two-page spread is a mini-essay that is meant to stand alone, a heading summarizing what's under discussion would have been helpful. The essay often didn't seem to say much, or make any sort of unique point about anything. Many of the essays seemed to just run together.* The essay was divided into main text (a black, serifed font), and a sidebar which was a tiny, fluorescent orange font. The sidebar was visually hard to read (again, ironic in a book on this subject), and I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to be thematically different from the main text. I basically read them as one uninterrupted passage of text -- main, then sidebar -- and I don't know if I was supposed to.In the end, I got little out of the book, beyond some general points about type and some understanding of the scope of decision when it comes to selecting a font.Specifically, I was missing some practical discussion on the "meat" of type -- ascenders, descenders, etc. Halfway through, I began to feel out of place, like the book assumed I had a base of practical knowledge which I didn't actually have. As such, I think this book is more for graphic artists, and not for type novices looking to understand the core precepts of the discipline.
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  • Rachel
    August 3, 2012
    Meh. I think this would be good if you didn't know anything about typography. But if you've at least heard of kerning or x-height (even if you don't know/remember what they mean), I would move onto something more complicated. Not a whole lot of concrete information and a lot of touchy-feely conversations about how different typefaces are happy or sad.
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  • Miriam
    July 4, 2009
    One of my favorite books. It is a strange mix of graphic art and philosophy.
  • Niel Malan
    September 2, 2015
    Very nice little book about what type is supposed to do for you.
  • Alice
    December 10, 2016
    Typography addressed clearly in an entertaining voice. Great reference.
  • Andy
    June 2, 2013
    A coffee-table book about typeface design. Very introductory and light in content, but there are nice visuals and some interesting tidbits in the sidebars. I enjoyed the comparisons of typefaces and their histories, particularly those that were applied to specific purposes - industrial signage, newspapers, etc. Sometimes terms are used before they are defined (such as "x-height") or are not defined at all ("tracking" is spacing between letters), which is a problem. There are some good observatio A coffee-table book about typeface design. Very introductory and light in content, but there are nice visuals and some interesting tidbits in the sidebars. I enjoyed the comparisons of typefaces and their histories, particularly those that were applied to specific purposes - industrial signage, newspapers, etc. Sometimes terms are used before they are defined (such as "x-height") or are not defined at all ("tracking" is spacing between letters), which is a problem. There are some good observations about what criteria should guide font choice. I particularly liked the procedure of making a backlit sign readable and the observation that typefaces for heavy reading should have milder, understated ascenders and descenders. But on the whole, I'd prefer to have had more concrete analyses of what makes a typeface good or not good - in general I wish this book were written more systematically. What exactly makes Helvetica blander than Frutiger, in the opinion of the authors? For what applications are slab serifs better than normal serifs? Typeface design sits at an interesting juncture between artistry and practicality; perhaps it's pointless to be so systematic about the paintings in the Met, but because typefaces are often created with specific intended applications, it's quite possible to be quantitative and hard-headed. What's the right ratio of ascenders to x-height for literature? What about our highway signs is good for visibility, and how could we improve on it? What's the best way to space lines in instruction manuals? The pure artistry element of typeface design may still be an unquantifiable je ne sais quoi, but the value added in practical application is certainly measurable and optimizable. Presumably experts in the field have done studies analyzing this; these are the kinds of insights I want to know. The edition I read was published in 2003; doubtless this book needs (already has?) a revision with a mind to phones, tablets, and e-readers.
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  • Amy Brown
    March 20, 2012
    I picked this up at a used book store to add to my reference shelf. It's a very readable overview of the world of typefaces, including discussion of history, different styles of typefaces, how to choose a typeface, and line spacing, tracking and kerning. It's more conversation than the last book on typefaces I read Thinking with Type: A Primer for Deisgners: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students but less loaded with information. That might be good - Thinking with Type I picked this up at a used book store to add to my reference shelf. It's a very readable overview of the world of typefaces, including discussion of history, different styles of typefaces, how to choose a typeface, and line spacing, tracking and kerning. It's more conversation than the last book on typefaces I read Thinking with Type: A Primer for Deisgners: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students but less loaded with information. That might be good - Thinking with Type left me bewildered a few times.I'm still not sure I understand typography the way the authors of these books want me to. They say, "such-and-such is a friendly typeface" or "a severe typeface" and I don't really see it. I'm getting better at the technical aspects of looking for type that is readable, or that works at different sizes, but as far as picking the "right" typeface, I am still reduced to changing the font, seeing how it looks, and repeating until it looks "right".
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  • Ivan
    February 10, 2017
    Я смотрел фильм «Гельветика» где Эрик Шпикерманн (автор этой книги) говорит, что у шрифта «Гельветика» нет ни ритма ни контраста. В этой книге я задал неплохой ритм перелистывания страниц с красной заливки на черно-белую. Вышло контрастно.
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  • Mirna
    September 13, 2012
    Interesting book! For a beginner typographer, it is pretty good. I think the focus of the book is to tell you what typeface goes where, which it has done successfully by illustrating some quite interesting examples. Then again, some pages of the book got too basic I had to skip them, and the bad thing about them is that they appeared at a point in the book where you've already done so much progress. My only problems with the book was the layout of the book itself - I realize that they need to gi Interesting book! For a beginner typographer, it is pretty good. I think the focus of the book is to tell you what typeface goes where, which it has done successfully by illustrating some quite interesting examples. Then again, some pages of the book got too basic I had to skip them, and the bad thing about them is that they appeared at a point in the book where you've already done so much progress. My only problems with the book was the layout of the book itself - I realize that they need to give you as much examples as possible and whatnot, but it was seriously uncomfortable for my eyes. Also, the book's chapters needed a little bit more arrangement. Nevertheless, a very very useful book and I would recommend it for beginner typographers - it's basically like an orientation about typefaces and their uses.
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  • Bogi Takács
    April 25, 2016
    A fun beginner book about typography, but very basic; though in some places (especially toward the end) I felt it was very opaque and if I hadn't known the information already, I would've been hopelessly confused. The last few chapters were a bit of a slog, the approach of trying to explain everything via analogy to cars, rooms etc. didn't quite work for me - I usually really like analogy, but here I felt it was distracting from why typography is interesting in itself. Then again, I am a nerd an A fun beginner book about typography, but very basic; though in some places (especially toward the end) I felt it was very opaque and if I hadn't known the information already, I would've been hopelessly confused. The last few chapters were a bit of a slog, the approach of trying to explain everything via analogy to cars, rooms etc. didn't quite work for me - I usually really like analogy, but here I felt it was distracting from why typography is interesting in itself. Then again, I am a nerd and sometimes all I want is formulae and graphs. (How wide should that darned margin be?? ...yes, there are formulae.)I want to read more typography books, but I'm in Lawrence right now and the public library had very few titles. Hopefully once I'm back in Iowa City!
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  • Deniz Cem Önduygu
    July 3, 2011
    I was expecting a better book from Spiekermann, both as content and form. It's so full of metaphors that it can barely find space to directly discuss type. I learned a few things here and there, but this is mainly a book for design amateurs/students.The book was first published in 1993 and although this second edition is dated 2003 it still feels quite old, with its own editorial design, the examples in it and all those featured typefaces from the 1990s. I mean, you don't even have Gotham (2000) I was expecting a better book from Spiekermann, both as content and form. It's so full of metaphors that it can barely find space to directly discuss type. I learned a few things here and there, but this is mainly a book for design amateurs/students.The book was first published in 1993 and although this second edition is dated 2003 it still feels quite old, with its own editorial design, the examples in it and all those featured typefaces from the 1990s. I mean, you don't even have Gotham (2000) in it!
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  • Ryan
    March 8, 2013
    A great primer for the typo novice, as far as I can tell, being a novice myself. This book is full of demonstrations of the principles it describes, which are jarring and challenged me to grow new parts of my brain to parse the previously subliminal effect fonts have on me. I tend to point fonts out a lot, and have not learned where the middle ground is where one can do this without annoying people. Anyway, Im happily on the road to nerdom and will never steal sheep again.
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  • Carolina Ferreira
    October 30, 2013
    It is a good book for beginners in Typography and early Design students.Approaches many aspects of Typography in a light manner, not truly developing any of the ideas it mentions.I found the layout annoying, for the interesting parts of the text are in small colored text, as if they were mere footnotes or comments on the main text. It was specially bad in Chapter 9, which color is light green. Bad legibility for a book about Typography!
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  • Loucaspapa
    December 20, 2013
    I read "Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works" during a 3h flight. Spiekerman manages to convey his mindset and thoughts over typography in a brief and humorous manner, without compromising on substance. Don't expect a hands-on book, but rather a book that will lay-on the foundations for your further involvement with typography. A must read for all the laymen with typography out there!
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  • Emily
    July 3, 2007
    awesome!! part typographical manual, part wit, part graphic illustration, this was a really fun and quite informative read. it would make a splendid resource for the history of type, the different uses, examples, etc. etc. good for all types of designers (no pun intended). learned new things that would've been helpful while working at spec.
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  • R.Friend
    August 20, 2007
    Mandatory reading in second year graphic design studies, and rightly so, as it's a relatively basic introduction to the fundamental rules of typography. Or more specifically, the ones you're really, really not supposed to break. Ever.In that regard, it's a bit more accessible to some; but it's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the finer points of typography.
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  • Philip
    October 23, 2016
    Mildly useful introduction to typography. Far too much time spent describing obvious things type can do - convey emotion, increase legibility - with not enough on how. In typical 'academics write a book for the layperson' style, filled with some of the worst metaphors. 'Type is like...traffic. No, no...type is like your family! It's like your family in a car stuck in traffic!'
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  • Andrew
    June 2, 2010
    Excellent book... As an introduction to type. I had heard good things about this book for years and finally got around to reading it. Was somewhat disappointed, yet happy, to find I knew most of what was presented. Great tidbits of info are contained in the sidebar set in the color red. Would recommend as a short easy go read primer on type.
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  • H.d.
    August 3, 2014
    Através de uma série de metáforas o autor passa por alguns dos temas básicos da tipografia. Da legibilidade à expressividade do tipo. Além de bem ilustrado dá referência (mesmo que superficial) de boas práticas para diagramação e uso da tipografia. Livro de leitura rápida e prazeirosa :) É pra ler de uma sentada só :)
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  • Tricia
    March 8, 2010
    A basic primer for those who perhaps haven't worked with type often; not illuminating for those who work with type frequently and want to explore it in-depth. Engagingly written, but with little substance beyond basic design foundations.
  • Matthew Herring
    June 28, 2009
    A very solid first look at the Fundamental rules of typography, geared toward those who are just getting their feet wet. This was the second book on type I was introduced to, in my Intermediate Typography class, and it stuck with me better than the first book on type I ever read.
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  • Peter Peerdeman
    July 25, 2013
    This book is awesome. It has a lot of timeless examples, good argumentation for and against certain typefaces in certain situations and a lot of humor. It reads like a novel while explaining a lot of typography traits and gives an insight into the mind of herr Spiekermann himself.
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  • Angie
    April 13, 2008
    Freshman year of art school I thought this book was completely ridiculous (without having even cracked it open). Three years and one incredible instructor later, I was sold. I refer to this book all the time now...
  • Conor Muirhead
    March 2, 2010
    Excellent book for some foundational advice on typography. I enjoyed the practical approach of illustrating everything with lots of asides for explanation. Also some good humour in the book too.
  • Matt
    June 1, 2008
    With all the high ratings I was expecting a bit more from this book. Or maybe I am frustrated by the lousy type in the addition I was reading. Six point type in cyan or magenta is a tad hard to read.
  • Belacqua
    May 12, 2008
    This book doesn't explain how to fine-tune kerning in Illustrator or how to tell Arial from Helvetica. But there is hardly a better one to learn the really important lessons about typography from.
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