The best typography books of 2012

There's tons to learn about typography, and thankfully there are a huge number of quality resources available online - not to mention the typography articles on this site. But if you've got a real passion for typography, then what better way to learn about it than a beautifully produced print book filled with gorgeous lettering?

We've rounded up the best typography reads of the year. If we didn't include your favourite, then let us know about it in the comments!

01. Inside Paragraphs

Inside Paragraphs is the very book that its author, Cyrus Highsmith, always wanted when he was a student in his first typography course. Its focus is on what goes on inside a paragraph of printed text, and its goal is to help students train their eyes to see text as typographers do.

The book begins with general explanations of how type works and how we read, then steps through the different kinds of space within a paragraph. Finally, it puts everything together with a discussion about paragraph settings.

An excellent primer to the basics of typography, and - as you'd expect - a beautiful produced one to boot.

02. Little Black Font Book

Little Black Font Book is a modern take on a traditional type catalogue

This type catalogue isn’t just about showcasing the company's wares - it’s chiefly intended to inspire designers in their use of type and give a sense of how each font can be used.

Hypefortype's tome will fit nicely in your drawer, handbag, back pocket, or tablet sleeve

Displaying the type on red, black and white, this paperback is small and light enough to carry around for portable inspiration.

03. Typography in the City

Guerrilla typography was spotted while the author was walking her dog
  • Publisher: Blurb
  • Price: $41.95 (£26); ebook version: $2.99 (£1.86)

While walking her dog in Chicago, Illinois, graphic designer Lidia Varesco Racoma kept noticing great examples of typography in her neighbourhood. So so she started photographing them and posting them in her blog and eventually collated them in this book.

Typography in the City is beautifully designed and full of fascinating fonts in the wild

"A letterform on a sign. An address number. Words spray painted on the ground. From the obvious to the obscure, I was intrigued and delighted by the typography I stumbled upon, so I started snapping photos and sharing them," explains Racoma.

The book is divided into examples of numerals and lettering

We're very happy she did. This elegantly presented hardcover book is a sight for sore eyes and an endless source of typographic inspiration.

04. Typoholic: Material Types in Design

Typography Typoholic covers

Typoholic has two covers, one for each distinct section of the book

Typoholic, from visual communication gurus Viction:ary, is a two-pronged look at modern type-making from both commercial and personal projects. In two separate sections, starting at each cover, the book introduces more than 40 new illustrative and animated type families plus 200 pages of projects featuring custom type designs.

Typoholic Steve Back

Creative studio Toby and Pete designed a kids' garden play set out of client Steve Back's name

The 'Font to Form' section is crammed with logo marks, campaign installations, digital rendering, performance art, and more. We particularly love Toby and Pete's alphanumerical bouncy castle and Juri Zaech's elegant pushbikes. Meanwhile, the 'A to Z' section contains 27 meticulously-composed, contemporary typefaces, inspired by (and created with) everything from elastic bands to balloon animals and train sets.

05. Computer Arts Collection: Typography

Computer Arts Collection is an annual series of in-depth guides from our sister publication Computer Arts, packed with insight and inspiration from the global design industry.

Part 2 (Typography) includes a 48-page special project, guest-edited by London agency Sawdust in which co-founders Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton walk through the entire creation process behind a striking display font, produced exclusively for the book. Plus there's 20-page report on the latest trends and movements in the design industry, produced exclusively by FranklinTill - and a lot more besides.

Love typography? Check these features out: