Fine Print

Playing to Type by Virginia Postrel
The Atlantic, January 2008

"Given its subject, Michael Bierut’s Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, published last May by Princeton Architectural Press, is remarkably plain. It has no pictures. It isn’t oversized. It doesn’t even have a dust jacket.

Yet the book is a graphic extravaganza. Each of the 79 essays is set in a different typeface, ranging in age from Bembo, designed in 1495, to Flama, created in 2006. This profusion of typefaces would have been inconceivable when Bierut, 50, was starting out as a graphic designer. 'I’m not sure in 1982 I could have come up with 79 different text fonts,' he says."   &nbsp

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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