Angelynn Grant
Willi Kunz, Typography:
Macro- and Microaesthetics

Recalling the invaluable books on elementary typography by Emil Ruder (Typography) and Ruedi Rüegg and Godi Fröhlich (Typographische Grundlagen) is the new and excellent primer Typography: Macro- and Microaesthetics by Willi Kunz. Kunz, a Swiss-born, New York-based designer, covers all the fundamental aspects of good typography, from the structure of letterforms to letter- and word-spacing to grids and layout.

The design of the book is as clean and clear as the logical progression through all the finer points of typography. Kunz’s original spin on this material is in the case studies. Using his own work (posters for the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture), he offers the macroaesthetics, “the primary visual components” like size, form and colors, which first catch the eye, and then the microaesthetics, which include details like typefaces, letterforms and the spacing between letters, words and graphic elements. Kunz states, “A design which does not work on the microaesthetic level will often fail as an effective means of communication.” It is with this section that Kunz shows the reader how to look, how to analyze typography in action, lessons that are as important as the preceding nuts and bolts. In addition to these posters, the book includes typographic exercises by students, an index of typographic terms and a bibliography that lists the building blocks of an excellent design library. Such a library will now have to include Typography: Macro- and Microaesthetics in order to be complete.