Book Review: Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

What a relief

A treat for type fans with page after page of three-dimensional lettering. This is the real thing too, not a that cheap offset by a few points stuff that any pc can do. The contents come from the US, Italy, France, Germany and Britain as actual printed samples or type book pages.

Nicely Heller and Fili have extended their selection beyond printed matter by including lettering from shop fronts, packaging and movie credits. Actually this last selection could well be another book for Heller: Hollywood credit types. Three-dimensional type was very popular for titles and credits from the thirties to the fifties. The book has thirty-six examples, unfortunately only over three spreads, which make them slightly too small to appreciate the beauty of this type style.

Each page shows type that is worth studying. On page sixty-five a 1938 advertisement for Mitten's Display Lettering, a stick on three dimensional type for exhibition stands, is cleverly revealed by lighting the letters at a low angle and creating a black shadow. Page forty-seven shows a 1910 Fulton Printing Outfit for children and produced by an outfit that had a hazy awareness of letter frequency, it only has five E's but five Q's, X's and three Z's. Page 237 has a stunning Art Deco book cover with shapes and lettering in 3D. The British chapter shows Stevenson Blake's unusual Shadow Sans, a type which is just a thick shadow, turn over the page and it shows it as colored type with the thick black shadow working beautifully.

The book is well produced using a good matt art paper. All the graphics bleed which nicely creates a sort of type specimen book look. If you are interested in printed ephemera featuring type and shadow styles in particular this is your book.

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

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