Serions-nous devenus fous ? Alors que le temps s'est paisiblement écoulé durant des siècles, il s'est peu à peu insinué dans nos vies au point d'en déterminer les moindres aspects. Simon Garfield le montre à travers mille histoires véridiques aussi drôles que surprenantes. On apprend ainsi pourquoi certains hommes dépensent des millions pour une montre, pourquoi les chansons des Beatles durent 2 minutes 30, en quoi la 9e de Beethoven est à l'origine du CD, pourquoi les montres indiquent toutes 10h10 dans les vitrines des horlogers et pourquoi il est risqué de voyager un 30 juin. Dans l'intervalle des horaires de train en déroute, on croisera des horloges ne comportant que 10 heures, des calendriers révolutionnaires et un prince Charles s'efforçant d'arrêter le temps.
L'heure tourne ! nous explique notre rapport au temps et notre insatiable besoin de le mesurer, de le contrôler, de le filmer et de l'immortaliser dans un monde en constante accélération.
Times New Roman, Garamond, Arial, Courier, Verdana, etc. La fréquentation quotidienne de l'ordinateur a popularisé le nom et l'usage des polices de caractères. Mais que savons-nous de ces fameuses " fontes " comme les appelaient autrefois les imprimeurs ? Rien ou pas grand-chose...Dans ce livre, Simon Garfield entreprend de nous raconter l'histoire de quelques-unes des 100 000 polices de caractères créées depuis l'invention de l'imprimerie par Gutenberg. Car derrière chacune d'entre elles se cache un destin, drôle et parfois tragique, qui croise souvent la grande Histoire - l'auteur raconte ainsi comment Gotham contribua à l'élection de Barack Obama...Les polices de caractères constituent aujourd'hui l'une des dimensions centrales de notre culture visuelle dont nous n'avons en général pas conscience. Qui se rend compte de l'hégémonie de l'Helvetica outre-Atlantique qui a colonisé la signalétique urbaine et qui est utilisée par toutes les grandes marques commerciales pour sa moderne efficacité ?
Just My Type is not just a font book, but a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers ... and typefaces became something we realised we all have an opinion about.As the Sunday Times review put it, the book is'a kind ofEats, Shoots and Leaves for letters, revealing the extent to which fonts are not only shaped by but also define the world in which we live.'
A delightful, entertaining and illuminating investigation into our peculiar fascination with making things small, and what small things tell us about the world at large. Simon Garfield reveals the secret histories of tiny Eiffel Towers, the truth about the flea circus, a doll's house made for a Queen, eerie tableaux of crime scenes, miniature food, model villages and railways, and more. Bringing together history, psychology, art and obsession, Garfield explores what fuels the strong appeal of miniature objects, and how controlling a tiny scaled-down world can give new perspectives, restore our sense of order in uncertain times, and, in unexpected ways, let us see our world in a whole new light. In Miniature takes a big look at small things and teaches us that there is greatness in the diminutive.
Maps fascinate us. They chart our understanding of the world and they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps and beyond, Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history. With a historical sweep ranging from Ptolemy to Twitter, Garfield explores the legendary, impassable (and non-existent) mountains of Kong, the role of cartography in combatting cholera, the 17th-century Dutch craze for Atlases, the Norse discovery of America, how a Venetian monk mapped the world from his cell and the Muppets' knack of instant map-travel. Along the way are pocket maps of dragons, Mars, murders and more, with plenty of illustrations and prints to signpost the route. From the bestselling and widely-adored author of Just My Type, On The Map is a witty and irrepressible examination of where we've been, how we got there and where we're going.
Tells the story of our remarkable journey through the mail. From Roman wood chips discovered near Hadrian's Wall to the wonders and terrors of email, this book explores how we have written to each other over the centuries and what our letters reveal about our lives.
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. The Beatles learn to be brilliant in an hour and a half. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A US Senator begins a speech that will last for 25 hours. The horrors of war are frozen at the click of a camera. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister lives out the same four minutes over a lifetime. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks. Timekeepers is a book about our obsession with time and our desire to measure it, control it, sell it, film it, perform it, immortalise it and make it meaningful. It has two simple intentions: to tell some illuminating stories, and to ask whether we have all gone completely nuts.
Both the old Mini and the new MINI are symbols of the age that created them. The car that was originally designed for austerity and efficiency soon came to represent individuality and classlessness, features that continue to define the car. This title explores the industrial and social changes over the years through the story of this car.
Maps have the most amazing stories. Suitable for mapophiles, this book offers narratives on everything from the challenge of mapping the oceans to spellbinding treasure maps to the naming of America, from Churchill's crucial war maps to the lay-out of a Monopoly board, from crime maps to music maps, from rare map dealers to cartographic frauds.
The New York Times bestselling author of Just My Type and On the Map offers an ode to letter writing and its possible salvation in the digital age.
Few things are as exciting-'and potentially life-changing-'as discovering an old letter. And while etiquette books still extol the practice, letter writing seems to be disappearing amid a flurry of e-mails, texting, and tweeting. The recent decline in letter writing marks a cultural shift so vast that in the future historians may divide time not between BC and AD but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not. So New York Times bestselling author Simon Garfield asks: Can anything be done to revive a practice that has dictated and tracked the progress of civilization for more than five hundred years?
In To the Letter, Garfield traces the fascinating history of letter writing from the love letter and the business letter to the chain letter and the letter of recommendation. He provides a tender critique of early letter-writing manuals and analyzes celebrated correspondence from Erasmus to Princess Diana. He also considers the role that letters have played as a literary device from Shakespeare to the epistolary novel, all the rage in the eighteenth century and alive and well today with bestsellers like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. At a time when the decline of letter writing appears to be irreversible, Garfield is the perfect candidate to inspire bibliophiles to put pen to paper and create 'a form of expression, emotion, and tactile delight we may clasp to our heart.'