de Jong: Schriftwechsel and Lunde: CJKV Information Processing
The following two books cover two very different, though somehow related topics. Stephanie & Ralf de Jong’s Schriftwechsel (in German!) introduces basic principles of typography and especially font design. What sets it apart for me from the many other books is that it puts hardly any weight on the typical classification schemes, but much more on the impression and appearance in continuous text. Thus, the fonts used and presented are generally used for running text. In the second part of the book 50 fonts preferred by the authors are presented with full one page running text, providing a good evaluation of how a finished book would look like. I like the book’s personal feeling that permeates every page. One can feel that the authors did put a lot of there personal experience and love for the topic into it.
Although I have already many books on this matter, I consider it a valuable addition to my library.
The other book is CJKV Information Processing (in English) by Ken Lunde. The author works since long for Adobe in font development, especially with respect to CJKV Information processing. CJKV stands for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese. Living in Japan and being confronted with encoding issues, font problems, distinctions between China, Taiwan, Japan, etc, I really felt the need to get a better grip onto the material. Especially since I am working with colleagues on supporting a variety of fonts for the Japanese TeX environment (jfontmaps). The book is a bit like a weapon, O’Reilly style with more than 800 pages, but inspite of the size it is still easy to find your way around and look things up – although carrying around is not really an option. The book touches most topics related to information processing: from the introduction of the different writing scripts, encoding systems, input and output methods, font formats, typographic issues, as well as very specific advice for a variety of programming languages.
Overall I consider this book a necessary part of the bookshelf for everyone somehow related to CJKV languages and their information processing.