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TandL cover

TYPE & LAYOUT: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes?

By Colin Wheildon, additional material, Geoffrey Heard. 176 pp paperback, 2nd edition, published 2005. With the original foreword by advertising guru, the late David Ogilvy.

This book is a "must have" for publishers of books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, DTPers, advertising creatives, advertising executives, print designers, journalists, PR practitioners, and marketers -- anyone who has a say in what appears in print and needs to know whether it will do its job by being read.

Colin Wheildon writes:

"It is not the purpose of this book to provide enlightenment and great wisdom on graphic art.

Rather, the intention is to warn of the horrible damage some typographical elements, if used in the wrong context or thoughtlessly, can do to our creations. To put it bluntly, it is possible to blow away three-quarters of our readers simply by choosing the wrong type.

And that should be enough to frighten anyone."

Read this book to learn how to use clever type and layout choices to turbocharge delivery of your printed message. The book is built on the results of hundreds of hours of research. We believe this book is still the only comprehensive research publicly available anywhere in the world on the effects of design and layout on reading comprehension.

This expanded and updated edition of the book is based on research carried out by the author in Sydney, Australia. Parts were first published in a brochure Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes by the Newspaper Advertising Bureau.

It created a furor in the publishing and advertising industry because while it supports some old mores, it demolishes others. In too many cases, type is set up to make a pretty page or advertisement at the expense of readability -- and communication and sales results.

As David Ogilvy says in the foreword: "Hitherto designers have had to rely on their guesses as to what works best... all too often they guess wrong. Thanks to Colin Wheildon they no longer have to guess. No guesswork here. Only facts." 

Magazine cover


By Gordon Woolf, 192pp paperback, 4th edition, pub 2004, reprint 2008.

This is the book that tells the rookie publisher all the vital stuff that all those DTP books don't go into -- just as you would expect from an author who started his first newsletter venture at 15 years of age in the steamy 1950s London music scene.

Then he was at the leading edge of the newspaper and magazine industry in a (continuing) 50+ year career in journalism, writing, and publishing.

It is the guide for the beginning entrepreneur determined to start up a periodicals or publishing business from scratch, or who is taking over an existing small publishing venture and needs to get things right, or is working on publishing within a larger corporate environment.

  • Still the best book for the hands-on magazine or newsletter publisher, from beginner to experienced.
  • Takes you from your first idea of producing a newsletter or magazine, right through every facet of the process, to the completed publication.
  • Leads you step by step from beginner to accomplished publisher, without having to suffer the bumps and bruises of all the pitfalls on the way.
  • Updated and improved layout, organization and cross references.
  • Covers every role of the small publisher including the vital economics and finances.
  • Pays attention to selling ad space, generating the ads to fill them, and pricing the space for profit.

The book offers many insights into Desktop Publish (DTP), but it is not a DTP book as such (although it is a lot better than some -- the author was internationally recognized as a DTP pioneer). This book is all about being the publisher, the executive, the business person, the salesperson, the manager, and all that entails.

© Geoffrey Heard,, 2013. Tel: +675 7384 7177