Okay, so things have been a little crazy around here lately. Not only did we pick up our entire company and move offices in 30 days (which was insane), but we also rebranded ourselves (huh?) from Jones McClure Publishing to just O’Connor’s. It is fair to say that we are in the process of “working out some kinks.” But I digress.
What I want to draw to your attention is the fact that the inestimable Matthew Butterick has released a second edition of the ground-breaking Typography for Lawyers. For those of you familiar with the book, website, and block-buster movie, you’ll know it’s been five years since the first edition, and it was time for a refresh. Technology doesn’t stand still, and neither does typography.
So the Second Edition is out, revised and updated, and contains 20 pages of new material (which is a lot). In this edition, you’ll get:
- New topics such as email, footnotes, alternate figures and OpenType features.
- Advice for Presentations, Contracts, Grids of Numbers, and Court Opinions.
- Technical tips covering the newest versions of Word and WordPerfect on Windows and OS X.
- New font recommendations, including two that are free.
- New essays on the font copyrights, screen-reading considerations and typographic disputes that have reached the courts.
- A refreshed layout, featuring type features designed by the author.
And for $30, which is a ridiculously low price if you ask me, but whatever, I’m just the publisher.
BUT IN CASE YOU NEEDED CONVINCING, I PROVIDE FOR YOU SOME REVIEW EXCERPTS FROM THE FIRST EDITION AND WEBSITE. Just a few though because I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by the praise or anything.
So, are you ready?
Okay, so in no particular order, here’s what random people had to say (as, like, excerpted by me, and does not include any of the 100 people on Amazon who gave it 4-5 stars, or whatever):
Butterick’s “book is for far more than litigators. A quick, thorough guide, this text offers much to typographic novices and experts alike. The book begins with a litany of sound arguments about why typography matters, and why it should be looked at as crucial to the law profession. But needless to say, nearly all the advice presented herein is equally applicable to writers or any professional services-based small business, not to mention graphic designers, students, and type mavens.” Nick Cox, Everyday Type
“Butterick’s premise is that typography in legal documents should be held to the same standards as any professionally published material, because legal documents are professionally published material. There’s a wealth of information that I wish I had had access to long before now. … That’s why Typography for Lawyers is such a godsend.” Ernie Svenson, “Typography matters, especially for lawyers,” ernietheattorney.com
Typography for Lawyers “is filled with nuggets, rationales and mechanics to make our papers look better. No, they won’t make a loser appeal into a winner, but like wearing a decent suit to court, or polishing your shoes, it’s one less detriment and one more benefit. Butterick’s point, and mine, is that there’s no good reason not to do it as well as it can be done. The book is a quick read, and one to keep on hand for reference, kinda like the Blue Book, the Essential Chester Barnard and Strunk & White.” Scott Greenfield, “Book Review: Typography for Lawyers,” Simple Justice
“There are two things lawyers use daily: a chair and a word processor. Smart lawyers get comfortable with both. For me, adjusting my chair is straightforward. Adjusting my word processor (and my word processing habit) is not. Butterick helps you make the adjustment from the typewriter rules that you learned in school. As a result, your documents will have predictable style. Your document’s style will clearly guide your reader. Will this make your document more persuasive? Yes, with surprisingly little work.” Andrew Lahser, “Typography For Lawyers, By Matthew Butterick,” HowConceptual
“In the opening pages of his exceptional book, Typography for Lawyers, Matthew Butterick reminds us that every producer—especially lawyers—should pay attention to his product’s design. But what do lawyers produce? Documents. Lots and lots of documents. But many lawyers don’t even know they should be thinking about document layout and design. Typography for Lawyers is where those lawyers should start. … Will Typography for Lawyers make you a professional typesetter? No. But will it make your documents look more professional? Absolutely. And if you find yourself wanting more, the book is an excellent jumping-off point for learning about design and typography in general. You should buy Typography for Lawyers, read it, and love it. It’s simply fantastic.” Gregory Rome, “Book Review: Typography for Lawyers,” (Aug. 14, 2011)
“Every document produced by an attorney is an opportunity to persuade. Whether you are persuading a judge, opposing counsel, or a client, this maxim transcends practice area. Often we focus exclusively on the substance of the message. ‘Typography for Lawyers’ is the reminder that the presentation also matters.” Molly Barker Gilligan, “A Font of Information,” The Philadelphia Lawyer (Fall 2011)
“I’m a huge fan of Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers, which has helped me make big improvements to my personal and professional documents and websites.” Sam Glover, “Normal People (and Laywers) Shouldn’t Buy Fonts,” The Lawyerist (Jan. 21, 2012)
“It is unnecessary to follow all typographic rules. Even little changes can make a big difference. We are all capable of mastering the essentials of good typography. When we temper Butterick’s advice with science, the move toward better typography becomes even more palatable.” Suzanne Suarez Hurley, “Advancing the Legal Profession with Typography,” The Florida Bar Journal (Nov. 2012)
“My job title is ‘lawyer,’ but the majority of my work is writing. … I put a lot of effort into producing good briefs. … I take pride in my clear, precise prose. I have never put much thought into the physical appearance of my pleadings. … I am now convinced that I should put more effort into how my documents look. I reached that conclusion after reading Matthew Butterick’s excellent Typography for Lawyers.” Rankin Johnson IV, “Review of Typography for Lawyers by Matthew Butterick,” Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV (Jan. 22, 2014)
Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers “is a must-read for law students interested in mastering the presentational aspects of legal documents. … While the book is relentlessly practical—laden with advice on coping with the limitations of word processors, on producing attractive copy that abides by court rules, and on structuring and formatting documents—the writing is always crisp and enjoyable. The book rewards both easy, one-sitting, reading, and repeated reference-shelf consultation.” Andrew Plumb-Larrick, “Short Book Review: Typography for Lawyers,” Case Western Reserve University School of Law (May 3, 2012)
“Typography for Lawyers isn’t just for lawyers. It’s for anyone who cares about how text looks in print or on the Web. … While some material will interest only attorneys, those parts don’t break the flow for the general reader. Anyone who uses a computer is also a user of typography, even if few people take that fact seriously. Russ Mitchell, “Typography for Lawyers,” CoolTools (Feb. 4, 2011)
“Butterick’s clear, easy-to-follow website and reference book take the fear and mystery out of document design for legal texts, giving lawyers of all kinds the tools they need to let their polished prose truly shine.” Kenneth D. Chestek, former President, Legal Writing Institute
“Only the legal profession would be so anal-retentive as to prescribe typographic rules, and only the legal profession would be so unimaginative as to set the default at Times New Roman. Here to introduce a little flair to the world of court filings, contracts, and legal memos is Matthew Butterick who has developed Equity, a typeface ‘inspired by legal typography and the needs of legal writers.’ … Ultimately, the point is to give lawyers a better tool for organizing their writing. That, in turn, can help convey complex legal arcana. Despite all their fussy rules, judges are required to vet court documents according to substance, not presentation. They cannot, for instance, throw you in jail for printing something in Comic Sans (though, of course, they should). At the same time, Butterick believes, the clearer a document, the easier it’ll be for readers to follow an argument. He puts it this way: ‘Equity will make good legal writing easier to read, and bad legal writing easier to tolerate.’” Suzanne Labarre, “Simple Genius: Lawyer’s Typeface Makes Legalese Easy to Read,” Fast Company Design (Nov. 14, 2011)
“As lawyers, we work with documents every day. I (and I suspect most of you) want my documents to look their best; I want them formatted uniformly, grammatically correct, and pleasing to the eye. But I read a book … that made me realize how badly I’ve been doing, and how badly all of the briefs I get from opposing counsel are. That book is Typography for Lawyers by Matthew Butterick. … I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Please buy it and implement it, so that we can all begin to use better documents.” Brad Catlin, “In Praise of “Typography for Lawyers,” Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC (Nov. 21, 2013)
“After reading about Matthew Butterick’s new book, Typography for Lawyers, I picked up a copy. You should, too. The book is outstanding. I can’t say enough good things about it.” Jay O’Keeffe, “Typography for Lawyers,” DeNovo: A Virginia Appellate Law Blog (Jan. 14, 2011)
“After mentioning the book to a few lawyer friends of mine, their immediate responses were the same: ‘Does any of that really matter?’ The author obviously expected this—and probably heard it plenty of times before sitting down to write the book—as his first chapter is titled ‘Why typography matters.’ In true attorney fashion, the answer to that question is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ No, good typography will not substitute for poor lawyering. It won’t do your job for you, and it will not make or break your legal arguments. But yes, good typography does matter. … All in all, the book is well worth the purchase price. And unlike, for example, The Redbook, it can be read all the way through, which I did and would recommend.” Joshua Doguet, “Typography For Lawyers Belongs On Your Bookshelf,” So It Goes (Sept. 23, 2014)
“I’ve been a fan of Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers web site for some time. Recently, Matthew expanded on the subject and wrote a book. Having spent the last few weeks with it, I recommend it to any legal professionals (or anyone else that generates formal documents).” David Sparks, “Book Recommendation: Typography For Lawyers,” MACSPARKY (March 23, 2011)
“Lawyers not being too technologically advanced, they end up using the default font on the default word processor for all of their documents. As a result, most legal documents (including letters and memos) are stuck in the rut that is Times New Roman. But don’t take my word for it; I’m no expert. Instead, listen to what Matthew Butterick has to say.” Jay Shepherd, “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: The Perfect Font … To Show You Don’t Care,” Above the Law (Apr. 26, 2011)
“I suspect that five years from now this book will be on the desk of most young lawyers. If I were managing a law firm, I would give a copy to all entering first year associates and order them to read and implement the book. For older lawyers, reading this book should be a badge of honor. If you care enough about your skills to read a book on typography, you must be a serious lawyer. Or a total law-goob. One of the two for sure. In all seriousness, I am glad that I found this book and recommend it for all serious lawyers. It would also be a good idea to ask your staff member who formats your documents to read it as well.” Philip Thomas, “Book Review: Typography for Lawyers, by Matthew Butterick,” MS Litigation Review and Commentary (Feb. 4, 2011)
“Anyone who has seen a recent Utah Supreme Court opinion may have noticed that something is different. The court’s opinions look more readable and just may be more convincing thanks to the typographic wisdom of graphic artist-turned-lawyer Matthew Butterick.” Arin Greenwood, “Artist-Turned-Lawyer Highlights Typographic Detail in Legal Docs,” ABA Journal (May 1, 2011)
“For typesetting—aka typography—I suggest, Typography for Lawyers by Matthew Butterick. Typography‘s style and drafting suggestions are important for anyone who wants to become a better typist, but more importantly, if you want your written words to convey more elegance and authority. Typography gives you the tools to know that there are better fonts than Times New Roman, Arial, or Comic Sans.” Jeff Taylor, “How to: My Favorite Google Fonts,” The Droid Lawyer (Jan. 18, 2015)
“You wouldn’t walk into court wearing a T-shirt and jeans, would you? Then why are you filing documents written in a 12-point monospace font with tiny margins? And if you don’t know the difference between monospace and sans serif, that’s a problem, too. Enter Matthew Butterick, a graphic designer-turned-lawyer whose book and accompanying website Typography for Lawyers instructs the font-challenged of us on the finer points of desktop publishing.” Mark Wilson, “3 Typography, Layout Rules Every Lawyer Should Know,” Strategist: The Findlaw Law Firm Business Blog (Aug. 3, 2014)
“The essence of Typography for Lawyers is that good typography is part of good lawyering. [Butterick] argues that good typography is as important to lawyers’ written documents as are polished speaking skills to lawyers’ oral advocacy. Thus, Butterick advocates for holding typography in legal documents to the same standards as any professionally published material—in large part because legal documents are professionally published materials. Fortunately, Typography for Lawyers provides lawyers all the tools they need to master the standards of good typography.” Timothy M. Garvey, “Book Review: Typography for Lawyers: Essential Tools for Polished and Persuasive Documents,” Solo in Colo (Sept. 29, 2012)
“I am a big fan of the author, Matthew Butterick, and his blog, which has the same name as his book. Mostly, I’m a believer in his message: Good typography is part of good lawyering. I’ve been interested in typography for a long time. But Butterick is a pro. His advice is based in sound research on principles of readability. … You can (and should) buy the book.” Molly DiBianca, “Typography for Lawyers—A Must Read,” Going Paperless (Dec. 22, 2010)
“Typography for Lawyers delivers a concise, useful, and relevant introduction to “dressing-up” professional documents. (The book’s format and writing style are reminiscent of the classic, Strunk & White, grammatical text. These ‘companion volumes’ deserve a place, within easy reach, in any attorney’s library.) The author successfully balances conciseness with comprehensiveness.” Shannon Brown, “Typography for Lawyers—Strunk & White’s ‘Stylish’ Companion Volume,” ShannonBrown (Feb. 14, 2011)
“I bought a new book called Typography for Lawyers, by Matthew Butterick. I just started reading it on the plane and I think it is brilliant. I could not put it down and before I knew it the plane had landed. Some people will find that sad I’m sure. The humor in the book is really funny. And the foreword by Brian Garner is brilliant – he gives some stories of the typical conversations that lawyers have. Spot on.” John Giles, “Typography for Lawyers,” Michalsons
“Typography for Lawyers is a useful resource for those of us who didn’t study graphic design in school and want to avoid snide looks from our friends who did. Maybe you are a Lawyer, and have been wanting to add pizzaz to your next memo by selecting a new typeface… maybe you just want to distinguish between en and em dashes for personal pleasure. In either instance, Butterick (the site’s creator) explains the principles clearly. Alex Dent, “Typography for Lawyers,” The Fox is Black (May 25, 2010)
“For lawyers and law students, I have two words of advice about this book: buy it. Why? Because every lawyer is a professional writer. So the lawyer’s writing should be professionally presentable, for the same reason that the lawyer should be professionally presentable when appearing in court or meeting a client. This book will tell you how to get there.” Ray Ward, “Typography for Lawyers—the book,” the (new) legal writer (Jan. 8, 2011)
“There’s really only one book you need: Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. It is an excellent resource for attorneys (and anyone who writes documents for a living). This book was eye-opening. I had never thought about harnessing the power of Microsoft Word to make things easier on me. I didn’t realize what wide margins were doing to the readability of my contracts. A number of other issues were there, as well, that could be easily remedied.” Zachary Strebeck, “Tips for lawyers – drafting attractive and readable contracts,” The Game Lawyer Blog (July 7, 2015)
“Behind the false joke of typography for lawyers is hidden a text of quality with a universal reach.” Typofonderie, Amplify the Content (Feb. 27, 2013)
“Typography for Lawyers provides easy to follow guidelines for type composition, text formatting, page layout and copy style. It showcases samples of good layout for everything from research memos, to letterhead, to business cards. It even has tips on printing, paper and PDF files. Does typography matter? No one knows which snowflake will trigger an avalanche—just as lawyers do not know for certain which line of argument, piece of evidence or part of testimony will swing a judge or jury their way. Good typography might not tip the scales of justice in your favour, but it can’t hurt to have pleadings which look polished and professional.” Michael Rappaport, “Conforming to type,” The Lawyer’s Weekly (May 6, 2011)
“Matthew Butterick set out to school lawyers in presenting their printed and online material in the most readable, transparent way possible. That online campaign has morphed into a body of advice applicable to all who want their message to assisted rather than impeded by their use of type, white space and other elements of design. Butterick has even designed typefaces for use in legal and other high information content contexts. When Erik Spiekermann is on board, you know his approach and advice is solid. Highly recommended.” “Typography for Lawyers (and everyone else),” workingtype Studio (July 19, 2015)
“So, legal writers, learn to use your tools, including your word processor. There are other good articles that provide an overview of what lawyers need to know about typography, including Gerald Lebovits’s Document Design: Pretty in Print—Parts I and II, and Ruth Anne Robbins’s Painting with print: Incorporating concepts of typographic and layout design into the text of legal writing documents. But Typography for Lawyers is the full treatment with practical advice and a good index. This book should be on every legal writer’s bookshelf, right next to your Garner books.” Rebecca Phalen, “The end of excuses for ugly documents” (Dec. 6, 2010)
“So lawyers should buy this book. They need to know about the difference between straight and curly quotes, different types of dashes and different types of spaces. They should learn once and for all why you shouldn’t put two spaces after a full stop or start a new paragraph by hitting the return key twice; and why you almost never should underline stuff or TYPE IN ALL CAPS. And there’s 101 more easily-digestible, well-illustrated rules and tips in this book’s 216 pages. Although there are many references and examples from US practice, it’s not difficult to relate them to UK equivalents.” Nick Holmes, “Typography for Lawyers,” Binary Law (Dec. 9, 2010)
“If it’s good enough for the United States Supreme Court, it’s good enough for me.” John D. Duncan, “Typography and a New Book” (Aug. 26, 2013)
“Fortunately for all of us, updating our legal designs does not take much effort. Changing fonts is easy to do, and through the Internet and advisors such as Mr. Butterick, we have a wealth of advice on what to do. Modern software permits us to add colors to titles, callout boxes to emphasize certain points, use formulas rather than text for precision, and add many other design elements to our documents. We have extensive experience putting legal terms in documents that contain other elements (advertisements, instructions) so we know how to point the user to what is helpful and what is binding. Now is a great time to transform legal documentation from apathetic to delightful.” Kenneth Grady, “Design and the Legal Industry,” SeytLines: Changing the Practice of Law (July 18, 2014)
“The past 20 years have seen writing and typography advocates successfully pressing courts to modernize—not only in fonts, but in other typewriter holdovers such as double-spacing and in-line citations. A top advocate for better-looking court documents is Matthew Butterick, a Los Angeles attorney who’s also a Harvard-trained typeface designer. His blog ‘Typography for Lawyers’ and 2010 book of the same name have been influential on many courts.” John Ruch, “Modern typefaces vs. the Massachusetts court system,” Boston Globe (Nov. 2, 2014)
“If you have not not yet read Matthew Butterick’s “Typography For Lawyers,” visit his website. You soon will be a believer in the power of good typography.” Gregory Peterson, “Typography for Lawyers,” Special Counsel
“If you’re interested in delving into the world of typography, a good place to start is with Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. This resource is a straightforward guide to effectively utilising typography, with a specific focus on the legal profession. “Typography and Meaning,” In-House Lawyers Association: New Zealand Law Society (Sept. 18, 2014)
“If you are interested in making your documents look better, read Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. Butterick, an attorney, explains the value of better typography and gives suggestions on how to make your documents look better. It’s a short read and jam packed with practical tips.” Robert Booth, “Discard Outdated Practices,” Mills Shirley L.L.P. (Mar. 29, 2013)
“Typography for Lawyers is a fantastic book for any lawyer who wants to improve the visual appearance and impact of his court pleadings, letters, briefs, and other written documents. Matthew Butterick is both a lawyer and a professional typographer, and his advice in this book is excellent. While my appellate brief writing is controlled by the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure that require the use of an ugly outdated font and other unattractive formatting rules, for everything else I now turn to Butterick’s book for inspiration. The appearance of my trial court motions, letters, and other non-appellate writings greatly improved after reading this book. – William L. Pfeifer, Jr., “Lawyer Gifts – Recommended Books for New Lawyers or Law Students” (Feb. 22, 2014)
IS THIS TOO MANYS? BECAUSE THERE ARE MOAR!