Recently, I stumbled across a used book for a price that I consider it to be a huge deal titled “ The Mystic Art of Written Forms, an Illustrated Handbook For Lettering “ by Friedrich Neugebauer. Since the Otter Creek Used Books was located close to where I live, it’s a gem where usually hard to find or out of print books can be found in there. Interestingly enough, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio, there was a similar chain called Half Price Books that their storefronts were huge in scale that I would spend a couple of hours perusing and looking for specific titles especially when doing research on my illustration or design work. Or simply for reference gathering.
And when I first saw this book, my jaw dropped while looking at the interior pages. I knew the style looked familiar and the more I leafed through it, the book was a must buy for my library of art books and reference. I discovered that this book was published in 1981 before the internet days and one can tell by the lack of web URLs and how the pages were designed. I’ve been working on a small personal project that relates to medieval style calligraphy or hand writing which led me to this find. This book by Neugebauer is a classic which I can’t wait to finish reading and one in which will help formulate ways or approaches to font or type layout. This is not just for graphic designers, but illustrators or artists that can make good use out of it.
After all, Friedrich Neugebauer is one of the design gods.