The Story of Writing

deciphering the earliest written languages The Story of Writing will be of interest to anybody interested in the graphical presentation of language. It’s very much a coffee table volume – profusely illustrated and printed on glossy art paper, though Andrew Robinson does spend much of his time wading in archaeological detail. He doesn’t claim to […]

The Psychology of Writing

attitudes to writing amongst professional authors Anyone who has attempted to produce a piece of half-way serious writing will know that the psychological states we go through can range from anxious anticipation, thoughtful cogitation, through anguished production, to teeth-gnashing editing and re-writes. Ronald Kellog’s excellent study The Psychology of Writing examines every one of these […]

The History and Power of Writing

the printed word from antiquity to the present I’m amazed this book isn’t better known – though I’ve only just discovered it myself. The History and Power of Writing is a majestic, scholarly, and multi-disciplined study of the history of writing. Henri-Jean Martin traces the development of writing from Mesopotamia in 5,000 BC to digital […]

Signs, Symbols and Icons

history and development of iconography As its title suggests, this study of iconography uses a structure of historical progression to argue that symbolic presentation has been “part of the collective subconscious of the human race since earliest times”. In the first part of the book Albertine Gaur compresses a great deal of cultural history and […]

Orality and Literacy

Speaking, Writing, Technology, and the Mind Orality and Literacy has become a classic since it was first published in 1982. It is concerned with the differences between oral and literary cultures. In making this exploration, it throws light onto the essential elements of writing which will be of interest to anyone concerned with the process […]

Literacy and the Politics of Writing

This book examines some of the fundamental questions about writing. What is it? What is it for? How is it related to literacy? It’s also about the philosophy of information storage and transmission. A great deal of what Albertine Gaur has to say centres on the historic development of different writing systems. She shows how […]

Language, Technology, and Society

how technology interacts with speaking and writing Most people think that writing and speaking a language are more or less the same thing – that writing is speech transcribed onto paper. The fact is that they are two different (though closely related) systems, and writing is an abstract system of symbols for representing the spoken […]

How We Write

a study of the creative process If you are interested in the process of writing – the means by which we think of ideas, translate them into words, and record them as text – then this is a book you will not want to miss. Mike Sharples deals with some of the central paradoxes in […]

Handwriting of the Twentieth Century

history and development of modern graphology Rosemary Sassoon is a distinguished expert on handwriting, and a typographist celebrated for her font Sassoon Prima, which helps young school pupils learn to read and write. In her latest book, Handwriting of the Twentieth Century, she looks at the effects which various teaching methods and models of good […]

Computers and Typography 2

Rosemary Sassoon is a distinguished expert on handwriting, and a typographist celebrated for her font set ‘Sassoon Prima’, which helps young school pupils learn to read and write. Digital versions of her work are illustrated in Computers and Typography 2, her latest book. It’s a collection of essays on the role of digital type in […]