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Old 11-19-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Rookledge’s Int’l Typefinder

I got all excited when I saw what appeared to be a new edition of the extremely useful Rookledge’s Classic International Typefinder and when I found it for $23 from Amazon, ordered a copy. I of course hoped to find that some of the thousands of fonts released since the first (1983) and second (1993) editions had been included.

I should have read more carefully. Just because the name changed (the “Classic” is new), and so did the cover (very snazzy and contemporary looking — but you can read the title on the spine), and just because a cover line said “revised by Phil Baines,” I still should have noted that this is the 1993 update in new garb. So far as I can tell, not a single detail of the content has changed. They did change the index a bit and deleted some entries from the bibliography, but I could discern no substantive differences.

Amazon did this to me before: a year or so ago they listed (and still do list) a “fifth edition” of Encyclopedia of Typefaces by Jaspert, Berry, & Johnson. It was actually a reprint of the well-known and indispensible fourth edition. (I was surprised that anyone would undertake to update that major work, but hope springs eternal.)

Bottom line: If you lack either of these books, do buy these reprints. The Encyclopedia is a goldmine of typographic lore (for fonts released before 1970); and Rookledge’s is an excellent starting point in identifying fonts (so long as they were released prior to 1980 or so). In fact, the earmarks section is useful for studying the details of type (even if they do not lead you to exemplars).

But don’t believe everything you read on Amazon!

   
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