This is the fourth such book on logos and fonts that Young has produced since 1993, and the design and approach are familiar: a short description of the client and design brief followed first by small pencil sketches and then by enlargements of selected examples—and, if the design was accepted, the final inked or digitized artwork. When he has revised an existing mark, Young includes it for comparison, and he often shows typefaces that have provided inspiration for his designs. It’s a winning formula, enhanced by Young’s insistence on high-quality production–you’ll probably check your hands as you read to see if you smeared the pencil. The book is bolstered by essays from Marian Bantjes, Jill Bell, Stefan Bucher, Gerard Huerta, and James Montalbano, a set of designers and typographers who emphasize their own engagement with the pencil and their views on the value and utility of being able to draw, while still affirming the necessity to work digitally today.
True, what is needed today from Young, more than another showcase, is a guide to the practice of lettering, one that takes the role of the computer fully into account. Still, the hefty price tag of Dangerous Curves reflects real value.
For more information on type and letterforms, check out Paul Shaw’s column “Hot Type,” in every issue of the magazine and in our online archive.