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History and Biography of Typography

Alphabet: The History, Evolution, and Design of the Letters We Use Today

by Allan Haley
ISBN:0823001709

Counterpunch: Making Type in the 16th Century, Designing Typefaces Now

by Fred Smeijers
ISBN:0907259065

Typographers on Type: An Illustrated Anthology from William Morris to the Present Day

by Ruari McLean (Editor)
ISBN:0393702014

Here are all the answers to your questions about the origin of letters and how we came to have the present bunch

A Short History of the Printed Word

by Warren Chappell
ISBN:0881791547

The history of the printed word, from the earliest alphabets through the evolution of the printing press. The contributions of the great printers and typographers are here. A new chapter by Robert Bringhurst takes up this history where Chappell put down his pen, covering the most recent developments in the printed word.

Typographic Milestones

by Allan Haley
ISBN:0471288942

Profiles of 18 typographers who made significant contributions to the field, from old to modern. Well illustrated.

Typology: Type Design from the Victorian Era to the Digital Age

by Steven Heller, Louise Fili
ISBN:0811823083

A visual survey of the last 100 years of type with essays and reproductions of type specimens, broadsheets, catalogs, and posters.

Twentieth Century Type Designers

by Sebastian Carter
ISBN:0800879163

A tour de force of major typographers of this century. You won't find another book with such a rich potpourri of information about the people who changed the history of type.

Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History

by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott (Editor), Bernard Stein (Editor)
ISBN:1579120237

Comm Arts says "Believing that there are just not enough reference materials available on the history of type design and typographic styles, the authors have amassed a wealth of information and illustrations into this enormous (approximately eight pound) book.