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Characters: cultural stories revealed through typography

Stephen Banham
Thames & Hudson in association with the State Library of Victoria
Hardback 272 pp Illustrated ISBN 9780500500262

In Characters, Stephen Banham has meticulously researched the signage and typography of a city to present an exuberant collection of quirky, poignant and often funny stories.

They range from how a callout to mend a burnt fuse on a neon sign led to the discover of over 100 musical instruments hidden away in a train station tower for 50 years, to the sign that had to be removed for eliciting illegal gambling.

From architectue and advertising to cultural history and much more, Characters is a book that will appear to historians, designers and typophiles alike.

Rather than presenting the new, Characters offers a whole new way of looking at the familiar. After reading this book, you'll never view your city in the same way again.

Stephen Banham is the founder of the Melbourne typographic studio Letterbox, and has lectured in typography at RMIT since 1991. He is also a 2011 State Library of Victoria creative fellow.

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