Shaw, an accomplished design historian and widely read writer on type, expands the story far beyond a discussion of ascenders and descenders, x-height and kerning. He looks at how communication in public signs is about much more than just words. The effectiveness of such communication relies not only on the proper flow of words but of letters as well. Color, line weight, spacing, letterforms -- all of these are part of the language, the communication medium, when we look at a sign.
Finding grammar mistakes on signs in the subway is a bit of a guilty pleasure for all us grammar geeks; finding a well-turned phrase is always a happy pleasure. With Paul Shaw's book, we can expand our radar to detect errors in typeface and delight in well-turned letterforms as well.
Ellen Scordato has 25 years' book publishing experience as an editor, copy editor, proofreader, and managing editor. She's now a partner in The Stonesong Press, a nonfiction book producer and agency. In addition to her work at Stonesong, Ellen has taught grammar, punctuation, and style at the New School for more than 12 years in the English Language Studies department and taught English as a Second Language at Cabrini Immigrant Services.