Winter 2017

A note on the type

Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past

By Paul Shaw. Designed by Paul Shaw and Abby Goldstein. Thames & Hudson, £19.95, $40.

The Eye reviews desk bends under the weight of new books on type, from the detailed investigation of a single face to the beautifully realised object that is The Visual History of Type. But for me, Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past (Paul Shaw, Thames & Hudson, £19.95, $40) is simply the best recent publication about type. This is the work of authority to which I will turn again and again. The book’s aim is to survey and evaluate digital typefaces derived and inspired by the past. By tracing the way specific typefaces evolved – in metal, wood or stone – and have then been realised as digital fonts, Shaw narrates a history of type design and manufacture. The design (by Shaw and Abby Goldstein) crops original specimens so you can understand the detail. Digital versions, chosen with Shaw’s insights as a historian and designer, show complete alphabets. Significant characters from the original font are compared with their different metal and digital versions. This is a book of real scholarship, inspiringly delivered.

Simon Esterson, art director of Eye, London

Right and top: Cover and spread from Revival Type: Digital Typefaces Inspired by the Past by Paul Shaw.


First published in Eye no. 95 vol. 24, 2018


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 95 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.