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The big book announcement

Happy Monday, folks. It’s a new week — and it’s going to be a tough one because my kids are off school with chicken pox — but I’ve been promising a big reveal for a while now, so here we go. Okay. Let’s do this. Finally. No, you first. Alright, fine...

I’m writing a book! It’s called Universal Principles of Typography and it’s going to be published by Quarto in spring 2024. Here’s the (WIP) cover:

Temporary cover for the Universal Principles of Typography book

The book is going to be around 220 pages, in hardcover format, and with a structure that takes the form of 100 principles, each occupying a double-page spread. For an idea of what to expect in terms of the overall presentation, be sure to check out one of the recently published books in the same series: Universal Principles of UX by Irene Pereyra (of Anton & Irene). I’m so honoured to have mine sit alongside hers, as well as Universal Principles of Architecture (out this October), …Branding (also October), …Interior Design, and several other beautiful titles.

Earlier in this email, I said that I’m writing Universal Principles of Typography, but actually it’s more accurate to say that I’ve written it — I started work on the book last November and hit my official “text” deadline in March. However, because I’m designing the book as well, I’m editing the text as I typeset and illustrate it. And, because I’m absolutely terrible at making decisions, I’m currently re-organising and re-factoring and just, well, re-everything-ing as I go. Urgh. Talk about being your own worst client.

But this is the reason I decided not to make the book announcement until now: I didn’t want to be promising a book for months and months on end, and talking about it regularly in this newsletter, only for it to take forever to materialise, and for everyone to think that it was just vaporware. The publisher and I agreed everything in-person when I was in San Francisco for SmashingConf last June, and the book won’t be out until next spring, so that’ll be… almost two years? Wow. These things take a long time, it turns out. But now that we’re just under a year away from the (approximate) publication date, it feels like a good time to start talking about it.

Would you like to know more about the book? Just reply here, and I’ll start cobbling together a little FAQ for a future issue, and obviously I’ll start showing you a bit more as I inch closer to my final deadline in the autumn. Oh boy. There is a lot to do between now and then.

Back to InDesign I go!

Thanks for reading and please do email me if you’d like to geek out about any of the above — I always respond.


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