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Book Review: Hand Job

Hand Job - book coverMichael Perry’s Hand Job: A Catalog of Type gathers the work of 55 artists who, in rebellion against computers, excel in hand-drawn typography and design. I remember first noticing this trend in the opening credits to Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, with cast and crew names floating around in lettering mimicking the loopy and unpolished writing on a high school girl’s notebook. The designer of that sequence, Geoff McFetridge, appropriately enough counts among those featured in this book — a group that collectively draw their inspiration from vernacular sources like graffiti, homemade signage and, yep, notebook scribblings. The resulting pieces are a mixed bag, however. Some of the work is truly awe-inspiring or appealing in a scruffy way; others have the lunatic aimlessness of mental patient drawings. By and large, I liked it. It makes me wonder what I can do with just a pen or pencil and a scrap of paper. Judge for yourself — Perry’s website contains several spreads from the book.

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type is available now from Princeton Architectural Press. Buy at Amazon here.

Hand Job - spread

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