Lettering For Reproduction was recommended by a reader of a previous ‘Book Club’ article named Sandra. In her comment Sandra mentioned a few books she’s found helpful many of which I’d heard of, but Lettering For Reproduction by David Gates I hadn’t come across before. I managed to locate it for around £6 / $10 but couldn’t find much information on it as it was published in the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s. However as the price was low I decided I’d risk the investment. Now having had the book a few weeks, I’m so pleased that I did risk buying it.
The book was written with the intention of being used along side a graphic design course specialising in lettering which I think David used to teach, or as a stand alone guide. Aside from the spiral binding the book doesn’t look too dated, some of the language inside does sound a little dated. It’s nothing major though and the book is readable, I think at the time it was written it wasn’t as common for women to study graphic design or lettering, so a lot of the language in the book is geared towards a male reader. Despite the content being written nearly fifty years ago, it’s still very relevant today and you can quite easily use this book to get started with lettering. It doesn’t cover absolutely everything but I think serves as a how to manual pretty well.
Lettering For Reproduction provides a number of different chapters, covering a brief history of lettering (highlighting just significant events), letter proportions, spacing, tools, sketching procedures, transfer methods (including tracing), inking, old style lettering, modern lettering, sans serif lettering, italic lettering, brush lettering (including practice and script lettering) plus more. Each chapter provides a helpful amount of information and is split down into further sections which makes it easy for you to work through a small amount of the book at a time.
You need to have a basic understanding of lettering language to get the most out of this book as it is referenced throughout, if you do understand the basics then I’m sure this book will be of use to you!
Lettering for reproduction was a little tricky to get hold of as it isn’t a book that’s being published anymore. As a result there are only used copies available from a limited number of places.
I was lucky enough to find a copy on Amazon Marketplace, and the condition was pretty good too, it only showed the usual signs of ageing you’d expect from a book published in the 1960s / 1970s.
I’d recommend keeping an eye out for it in any used book stores you visit, or on eBay if you’re looking for an alternative place to Amazon for shopping.
I do hope this recommendation has been helpful, if you own this book already I’d love to know what you think, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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