Simon Garfield's Just My Type, published in England by the same people who brought us Eats, Shoots & Leaves, hopes to do for type fonts what Lynne Truss' surprise best-seller did for commas. For those of us who normally concentrate on the sense of words without paying much attention to the typeface in which they appear, it's at once an eye-opening and eye-straining read.
For typomaniacs, on the other hand, who can't rest until they've identified a font, Garfield's engaging history of letter design will be eye candy. Helvetica? Frutiger? Univers? Is the bowl on that g elongated, and how wide is that o? Their passion helped fuel the cult success of Gary Hustwit's film, Helvetica, about the font created in Switzerland in 1957 that has become the face of Bloomingdale's, Gap, BMW, Verizon, American Airlines and countless other corporate logos. When Ikea changed its typeface from Futura to Verdana, it provoked a "fontroversy."