Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of nonfiction including Just My Type. He lives in London and St. Ives, Cornwall.
Cartography enthusiasts rejoice: the bestselling author of the Just My Type reveals the fascinating relationship between man and map.
Simon Garfield’s Just My Type illuminated the world of fonts and made everyone take a stand on Comic Sans and care about kerning. Now Garfield takes on a subject even dearer to our fanatical human hearts: maps.
Imagine a world without maps. How would we travel? Could we own land? What would men and women argue about in cars? Scientists have even suggested that mappingnot languageis what elevated our prehistoric ancestors from ape-dom. Follow the history of maps from the early explorers’ maps and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones, Garfield explores the unique way that maps relate and realign our historyand reflect the best and worst of what makes us human.
Featuring a foreword by Dava Sobel and packed with fascinating tales of cartographic intrigue, outsize personalities, and amusing pocket maps” on an array of subjects from how to fold a map to the strangest maps on the Internet, On the Map is a rich historical tapestry infused with Garfield’s signature narrative flair. Map-obsessives and everyone who loved Just My Type will be lining up to join Garfield on his audacious journey through time and around the globe.
Praise for Just My Type:
“This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Lynne Truss’s best-selling Eats, Shoots & Leaves
did for punctuation: made it noticeable for people who had no idea they were interested in such things.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"An engaging look at the world of fonts. […] Just My Type
urges us to put on the brakes and take in the scenery as far as typography goes. Whether you're a graphic designer or a layperson with no background in this area, reading what Garfield has to say will change the way you perceive the written word forever." —The Los Angeles Times
“Reading Simon Garfield’s Just My Type
can transform your daily life into an endless quest for knowledge of the typefaces in which signs, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. are set.” —The Washington Post
“Highly entertaining … Garfield takes readers on a rollicking tour of the world of typography, from book jackets to road signs, TV shows to computers.” —USA Today
“A deliriously clever and entertaining book” —The Boston Globe
“Informative, delightful — and essential reading for word geeks everywhere.” —The Seattle Times
“Lively […] intriguing […] a cheeky book about the human side and our reaction to fonts.” —Seattle Post Intelligencer
“This is a book for typography lovers who just can't get enough of their favorite fonts. In this well-researched book, Garfield takes a look back at the history of typefaces and how they've influenced consumers throughout the years. Using specific examples, Garfield shows just how powerful different fonts can be.” —Philadelphia Intelligencer
“For typomaniacs […] who can't rest until they've identified a font, Garfield's engaging history of letter design will be eye candy.”
Praise for On the Map
“Simon Garfield is charming company. His passion for the graphic carries the reader along […] On the Map offers a world of revelation.”
“Mr. Garfield's book serves an immense need, connecting the latest geocacher with both the ancient art and modern science of the cartographer. Each may benefit from learning how the other approaches maps. Mr. Garfield uniquely provides that bridge.”
–Pittsburgh Post Gazette
“There is a great deal that is good and charming and fun about this book.”
–Simon Winchester, The Washington Post
“Garfield has a knack for creating high-spirited, erudite and user-friendly books on subjects that may seem crashingly dull to all but a few fanatics. […] On the Map is a treasure: exhilarating, witty, compulsively readable and just plain fun.”
“A collection of marvelous anecdotes that explore the role maps have played in shaping human culture since ancient times.”
“Garfield’s new book details the evolution of cartography and why maps play such a vital role in our lives. […] his reverence for the form shines through vividly.”
“Garfield’s interest in the human side of mapmaking— the personalities, anecdotes, curiosities—is what makes On the Map such an enjoyable read. […] vastly entertaining.”
"Garfield is a wonderful writer who deploys suspense to excellent effect, making each chapter read like a delightful short story or mini-mystery; his book speaks of vast, hidden depths."
“A vivid foray into the romance of maps. [...] A fine, fun presentation of the brand of cartography that continues to whet our imaginations.”
“Engaging …full of little conversation pieces”
–Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Enlightening and impossible to put down [. . .] The length and breadth of his scholarship are staggering, while the witty tone makes for the most convivial of literary guides."
"Readers will enjoy this romp through 16,000 years of mapmaking."
–Library Journal, starred review
"Delightful... If maps be the fuel of wanderlust, read on."
–From the foreword by Dava Sobel, author of Longitudes
“There couldn’t be anyone better to write about our love for maps than Simon Garfield, who is a master at unearthing strange facts and mixing them with a lively personal narrative...fascinating.”
–Giles Foden, Condé Nast Traveller (UK)
–Daily Mail (UK)
"Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight."
"Simon Garfield’s new book is a rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve . . . On the Map will inspire you to take a trip to somewhere new, buy an antique globe to chart the rise and fall of empires, or just dig out a tatty orange Ordnance Survey Explorer map and let its fil