Book Review: Conundrums: Typographic Conundrums

Expect a hard time for a soft subject

A reasonable title to dip into when using the smallest room in the house. A nice mixture of easy and sort of hard conundrum solving though as the author/designer is British I doubt that readers here will solve every one unless they are really clued into Brit colloquialisms, still, it's fun trying.

I was intrigued by the publisher, on the back cover, listing the book as Art/Design though as it only has boxes of large display type on most pages I guess it's correct. The design aspect of the pages, I thought, really let the book down, so three stars. The editorial contents are a bit of fun and froth yet the layout is cold and rigid. Using just one type, the AG Old Face (a contemporary version of the decades old Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk) in one weight and printed in black and orange doesn't create a light feeling.

The author gives thanks to Alan Fletcher at the start of the book. He was a great designer and one of founders of Pentagram and if he had designed this book with the same content it would sparkle with bit bits of whimsy and lovely graphic surprises on each page.

The book, unfortunately, is a good example of contemporary hard edge design and rather unsuitable for the soft, lighthearted editorial.

Conundrums: Typographic Conundrums is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Conundrums: Typographic Conundrums - 01

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Conundrums: Typographic Conundrums - 07
Plenty of puzzles are turned sideways.

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There are no page numbers but each conundrum has a number in the top right, in orange, black or white type.

Conundrums: Typographic Conundrums - 08
For no good reason, as far as I can see, the solutions are turned sideways. Actually the reason is probably because the book's designer felt like doing it.

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