Hi, I’m Ben.

I made a book, by accident

On New Year’s 2013, I launched Typoguide, and over night (literally) got a lot of traction on the website. It seemed like my “Pocket Guide to Master Every Day’s Typographic Adventures” had hit a spot, and people quickly began asking if I had plans to make a book out of it. My initially thought? “Not really”, but my instant reply was “Uhm, sure, why not”. I had never made a book before, but the idea was exciting and who doesn’t like a challenge.

So, in February 2014, after days of layouts, dummies and calculations, I sent the first edition of Typoguide, the book, to the printer. I launched a pre-order site and 4 weeks later had sold out the entire first edition of 1,500 books. The books were ordered from all around the world and shipped to 43 countries in total. I spent many nights packing and labelling the orders, and with the help of Cat and my best buddy Johannes, we got all orders out, in time—more or less. What a ride that was.

Since then, people have been asking via email and Twitter if I would print another batch, and for a while I was contemplating and checking my options. If there’s one thing I realized, it’s a lot of work to self-publish a printed book, from production and handling the entire order chain. While I was thrilled about the fact that people kept asking for my book, I wasn’t sure if I had the time to do it again. Finally, I decided to give it another shot. I put up the pre-order page up again and started working on the second edition of Typoguide.

The great thing about making a second edition is that you can change all the things that went wrong with the first one – typos, production or simply additional content. Another great thing about a second edition is that people already know about your book, so marketing tends to be easier.

Shortly after publishing the first edition, it just so happened that Typoguide ended up in Erik Spiekermann’s hands and although we had met in the past, the book opened a new conversation. I also got in touch with his partner Jan Gassel, who runs Galerie P98A with Erik, and both gave great advice on the book and its production. With their help I was able to meet the folks at Metapaper, who provided that perfect new stock for my little book. And Erik agreed to write the foreword for Typoguide’s second edition.

Finally, after some delays, the printed books arrived just a few days ago, and now the long nights will start again. Packing, labelling and shipping. It’s a great and rewarding feeling though to touch every book that leaves the house to be shipped.

Typoguide’s second edition is the book I always wanted it to be, the production quality is fantastic and I added two new chapters with helpful content. I’m grateful for every single one of the 300+ people who already pre-ordered the second edition. In the next few days, I will flip the switch on the Typoguide shop from “pre-order” to “order”, and I can’t wait to get the book in everyone’s hands. I hope you’ll enjoy reading Typoguide as much as I did making it.

P.S. If you are a teacher or professor who wants to buy Typoguide for your students, please email me at hello@typogui.de and I will happily offer a discount.