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Nigel French’s InDesign Type (4th Edition) Published

There are tons of resources you can use to learn about working with type in InDesign. Hundreds of posts here at InDesignSecrets. Dozens of InType articles in InDesign Magazine. And more videos on Learning than you could probably watch in a year.

So why, in 2018, would you need a printed book, like Nigel French’s brand new InDesign Type (4th Edition)? Simply because when it comes to working with type in InDesign, this is it. This is the authoritative resource. Over the course of 350 pages, you get the grand tour of type in InDesign, from one of the best instructors on the planet. Every essential topic is covered in detail, and in the context of real world production for print and screen. And Nigel’s writing style is clear, concise, and approachable. How do I know all this? Because I’ve read every single word of it. I was fortunate enough to be the technical editor for this book. This means a) I got to read it before anyone else, and b) I got to nitpick the geekiest of details like when exactly is International Apostrophe Day? (It’s the 3rd Friday in August and don’t let anyone tell ya different!).

InDesign Type 4th edition

The other reason I think every serious InDesign user should have a copy of this book (no, I don’t get royalties), is something that John McWade wrote, called Why I Still Love Paper:

“The reason I read a paper magazine or book is for the time it gives me — for the space to think, reflect, pause, return, re-read, and so on until what’s on the page has morphed from an idea to something deeper.

Online, and even on a tablet, is a different experience. There’s a light in my face. There’s an urgency. It has no closure; there’s always another click, an eternal, forever, world-without-end-amen stream of data rushing, flowing, pounding, demanding, agitating.

Paper gets me away from that…”

So true. If you really want to go 100% in on a topic like type in InDesign, you have to give it your full attention. No emails or tweets. No alerts or notifications. No likes or comments. Just read the whole darn thing and let it settle into your brain. We’ll still be here any time you want to jump back into the flow.

And I’m sure if you wanted to have a cup of tea whilst reading InDesign Type, Nigel would approve.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: About Type
  • Chapter 2: Type on the Page
  • Chapter 3: Type Choices
  • Chapter 4: Screen Typography
  • Chapter 5: Leading
  • Chapter 6: Alignment
  • Chapter 7: Letterspacing, Tracking, and Kerning
  • Chapter 8: Small (but Important) Details
  • Chapter 9: Paragraph Indents and Spacing
  • Chapter 10: Breaking (and Not Breaking)
  • Chapter 11: Tables
  • Chapter 12: Bullet and Number Lists
  • Chapter 13: Drop Caps
  • Chapter 14: Combine Typefaces
  • Chapter 15: Styles
  • Chapter 16: Type and Image
  • Chapter 17: Page Geometry, Grids, and White Space
  • Appendix: Type Checklist

You can buy it today and support InDesignSecrets from this link.

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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13 Comments on “Nigel French’s InDesign Type (4th Edition) Published

  1. How refreshing to feature this wonderful book on Typography. As a Graphic Designer with 40 years of experience, I recall learning to hand do type in several classes including Repro Lettering in art school. I think it has served me well over the decades (though it seemed tedious at the time).It is something, once ingrained you carry with you all of your life. It can make it frustrating to art direct someone else to do it. I hope young designers take your sage advice and imprint the wisdom in this book seriously.

    • Your comments concerning 40 years experience and tracing lines of type to be used for a hand completed client presentation, rang a loud bell for me !
      I spent 12 months in a (hot metal) composing department prior to 3 years at the (then) London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. I have kept all my Monotype type sheets, but they don’t get used any more ! They are on the shelf, “in case”.

  2. I know this is enough topic for another full book but is there anything about importing from Word? Tips or clues… That is one of the most frustrating aspects of InDesign.

  3. I can’t say enough good things about this book, the wealth of knowledge it contains or the way it is organized to make things easy to grasp.

    InDesign is a rich environment for typography. There’s a lot to discover and a wealth of available tools. Typography is both an art and a technology, born of centuries of thought, technique and creativity. If you want to do it right, then you need the craft knowledge and a complete understanding of how to use InDesign’s ever-expanding suite of typographic tools. That’s what Nigel gives the reader here. After that, it’s up to you, your aesthetic sensibilities and the demands of whatever project you’re working on.

    InDesign Type is a modern classic. I keep it within arm’s reach alongside Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style, James Felici’s The Complete Manual of Typography and others. Of all the questions I’m asked about type in InDesign, there isn’t one that doesn’t have an answer in InDesign Type, so I recommend it highly and often. (Hey, it saves me time and helps keep the environment free of typographic trauma!)

    I will say this, however: As with any book on typography, buy the physical book rather than the virtual one, or buy both. There are subtleties of type that are impossible in ePub/Kindle formats, due to the limitations of the medium. You need the real thing in front of you if you want to understand it fully. Use the Kindle for quick reference on the road, if you prefer, but don’t consider it a replacement for the real thing.

  4. I was really looking forward to reading Nigel’s tome but since Peachpit, in its wisdom, charged me twice for the pdf(and I am now paying more for the pdf than the actual hardcopy), I’ve decided to cancel the order altogether. So, now Nigel has lost a sale because of Peachpit/Adobe Press’ inefficiency, incompetency or sheer greed!

    Please forgive the rant, but I am so fed up with organisations thinking that there’s bottomless pit available to them when they see fit. It’s not on!!!!!

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