Shadow Type Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

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Quick Overview

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.

Shadow Type Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering

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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 centuries
• Literary giant Honoré de Balzac, who had his own Parisian foundry, published his own type samples

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