As one of a graphic designer's most essential tools, typefaces influence the appearance of visual print materials perhaps more than any other component. This book explains the processes behind creating and designing type. Author Karen Cheng discusses issues of structure, optical compensation, and legibility, with special emphasis given to the often overlooked relationships between letters and shapes in a font. The book is illustrated with diagrams that demonstrate visual principles and letter construction, ranging from informal progress sketches to final type designs and diagrams. A wide range of classic and modern typefaces is analyzed, including those from many premier contemporary type foundaries. Introductory essays and diagrams emphasize the history of type, the primary systems of typeface classification, the two main proportional systems for type, the parts of a letter, the effects of new technology on design methodology, the optical illusions that affect density and balance in letterforms, and the differences in form between basic serif typestyles. The book provides detailed guidelines for creating serif and sans serif letters, numbers, punctuation, and accents.