This is not, by any mea­sure, a com­pre­hen­sive bib­li­og­ra­phy. Rather, it’s a se­lec­tion of fa­vorites from my own book­shelf that I con­sult most fre­quently in my work as a writer and a typographer.

Bryan A. Gar­ner, Gar­ner’s Mod­ern Amer­i­can Us­age, 3rd ed. (New York: Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity Press, 2009).

Long before he agreed to write the foreword for my book Typography for Lawyers, Bryan Garner was a hero of mine. Garner thinks and writes about American English in a way that’s rigorous, convincing, and accessible. He is stern but not shrill; authoritative but not authoritarian. He is a vigorous advocate for clear, simple writing. His work should be mandatory reading for all writers.

Matthew But­t­er­ick, Ty­pog­ra­phy for Lawyers (Hous­ton: Jones Mc­Clure Pub­lish­ing, 2010).

The precursor to Butterick’s Practical Typography. Lawyer or not, consider buying a copy, because it’s a virtuous act. See how to pay for this book.

Jan Mid­den­dorp, Shap­ing Text (Am­s­ter­dam: BIS Pub­lish­ers, 2012).

If you get a second book on typography, get this one. Middendorp’s beautifully written and illustrated book is full of careful details and lucid explanations.

Car­olina de Bar­tolo, Ex­plo­rations in Ty­pog­ra­phy (ex­plo­rationsin­ty­pog­ra­, 2011).

Using a Spiekermann essay from Stop Stealing Sheep (see below), de Bartolo shows how different typesetting choices change the effect of the text.

Cyrus High­smith, In­side Para­graphs (Boston: Font Bu­reau, 2012).

Highsmith’s charmingly hand-illustrated book focuses on the paragraph as a unit of typographic interest.

Robert Bringhurst, The El­e­ments of Ty­po­graphic Style, 4th ed. (Van­cou­ver: Hart­ley and Marks Pub­lish­ers, 2013).

Bringhurst’s book has become something of a standard reference guide among professional typographers, bringing together the history, theory, and practice of typography.

Ellen Lup­ton, Think­ing With Type, 2nd ed. (New York: Prince­ton Ar­chi­tec­tural Press, 2010).

Intended as an introduction to typography for design students, Lupton’s book is more accessible than Bringhurst’s. It includes full-color illustrations from every era of typography.

Erik Spiek­er­mann, Stop Steal­ing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, 3rd ed. (Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia: Adobe Press, 2013).

Spiekermann, a self-described typomaniac (and author of the foreword) explain how fonts work, and how they differ in appearance and in function. For the body text of his book, Spiekermann pairs FF Unit with Equity.

Sofie Beier, Read­ing Let­ters: De­sign­ing for Leg­i­bil­ity (BIS Pub­lish­ers, 2012).

Beier’s thoroughly researched and illustrated survey shows how empirical considerations have influenced type design for hundreds of years.

Tim Ahrens and Shoko Mugikura, Size-Spe­cific Ad­just­ments to Type De­signs (Just An­other Foundry, 2014).

This is the nerdiest recommendation on this list. But I can’t leave it out—it’s a beautifully presented demonstration of the subtlety and thought that goes into the best-designed fonts.

Ed­ward Tufte, En­vi­sion­ing In­for­ma­tion, 4th print­ing ed. (Cheshire, Con­necti­cut: Graph­ics Press, 1990).

Ed­ward Tufte, The Vi­sual Dis­play of Quan­ti­ta­tive In­for­ma­tion, 2nd ed. (Cheshire, Con­necti­cut: Graph­ics Press, 2001).

These are two of my favorite books of all time. Tufte makes an eloquent and compelling case for why design matters. Both books are fantastically interesting and beautifully illustrated with examples of information design from many historical periods.

William Lid­well, Kritina Holden, and Jill But­ler, Uni­ver­sal Prin­ci­ples of De­sign, 2nd ed. (Bev­erly, Mass­a­chu­setts: Rock­port Pub­lish­ers, 2010).

An excellent and accessible introduction to design principles that apply not only to printed documents, but to all objects that we interact with.