Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering. A Source Book of the Best Letter Forms of Past and Present for Sign Painters, Graphic Artists, Commercial Artists, Typographers, Printers, Sculptors, Architects, and Schools of Art and Design by Jan Tschichold

Overview   Process   Errata  

Chapter “Composition in Type Design and Signage” (in Russian, pages 48–53, PDF, 1 MB)

Task: to publish another interesting and informative book by Jan Tschichold.

Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering is a fine collection of type specimens selected by Jan Tschichold, a famous typographer and book artist. Only crème de la crème of the lettering world made it to this edition: true typeface role models with each and every one of them featuring exceptional beauty beyond time and fashion.

obraztsy shriftov cover
Book in dust jacket

Before presenting his collection, Tschichold exercises in-depth analysis of letter anatomy, studies good and bad type, speaks on the use of upper and lower case, kerning, and leading. A good part of the book is dedicated to properly selecting a typeface for the task and to design with type and typography in general in a city environment. A vast number of precious historical illustrations are published in the original size and underwent a thorough retouching by the author, thus resulting in a better quality compared to the time-damaged originals.


Based on decades of study, this source book for lettering men, graphic designers, lithographers and related professions should serve not just the moment. The letters I have ultimately selected have stood the test of severe scrutiny. We may therefore hope that, for decades to come they will also stand the test of time. The plates offer familiar as well as the unknown; they are immediately useful as well as inspirational; they contain letters for students as well as for masters. All of them contribute to a true culture of letters and their application.»

From the author’s foreword

Release date: June 30 2012


art director
chief typesetter
technical designer
type designer
chief editor
production managers

Jan Tschichold (1902–1974) was a German typographer, book designer, and teacher, who made a major contribution to the development of typography and graphic and book design of 20th century. During his long career, Tschichold designed a great number of Swiss and English editions, wrote several books still used by the modern graphic designers and book artists, and also spent time studying and working with type.

For his contribution to the development of typography art, Tschichold was awarded an AIGA golden medal (the major award within the US design industry); was named Honorary Royal Designer by the RSA (British Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), was elected as an Associate Member of the Berlin Academy of Art, and received a Gutenberg award (the highest European recognition for achievements in the field of printing arts).


248 pages
3000 copies
Dimensions—11.6″×8″×1.2″ (29.5×20.5×3 cm)
ISBN 978-5-98062-064-6

This book was translated into Russian from the following edition: Jan Tschichold, Meisterbuch der Schrift © 1999 3rd edition, Urania Verlag in der Verlag Herder GmbH, Freiburg im Breisgau.

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Title page
obraztsy shriftov 34 35
Pages 34–35
obraztsy shriftov 48 49
Pages 48–49
obraztsy shriftov 54 55
Pages 54–55
obraztsy shriftov 98 99
Pages 98–99
obraztsy shriftov 140 141
Pages 140–141
obraztsy shriftov 218 219
Pages 218–219

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