By Steven Heller and Louise Fili
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Designers often look to the past for ways to enliven
their projects. Letters with relief and shadow have
long been an effective way to add spectacle or intrigue
to otherwise mundane words. Introduced in metal
type as early as 1815, shadow typefaces were a form
of early experimentation among type founders. In the
late nineteenth century, the form was adopted in wood
type for use in posters and has been embraced ever
since by designers looking for ways to communicate a
sense of monumentality, a feeling of confidence, or
a simple impression of optimism. Shadow Type presents
a broad spectrum of examples—advertising, shop signs,
billboards, posters, type-specimen books—featuring
the most popular, rare, and (nearly) forgotten
dimensional letters from Europe and the United States.
Compiled by the leading historian of graphic design
Steven Heller and renowned graphic designer
Louise Fili, this invaluable collection, packed full
of typographic ideas, will inspire anyone aiming
to give more depth to their design.
• First compilation of shadow typefaces
• Contains examples from more than 300 illustrations
• Drawn from a particularly rich period in the history
of shadow type, from the nineteenth to the midtwentieth
• Literary giant Honoré de Balzac, who had his own
Parisian foundry, published his own type samples
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