Paperwraps and dust jacket. The book continues Bringhurst's exploration of the relationship between a language and its written script and how scripts become associated with cultures, not simply with a textual way of communicating. The heavily illustrated text culminates in a presentation of major ancient and current written languages as characterized by what the author terms hues of meaning: semographic, syllabic, alphabetic and prosodic. This basic understanding of the context and presentation of written language could be exploited to improve cultural relationships or at least improve linguistic relationships. Beginning with the original relationship between a language and its written script, Bringhurst takes the reader on a history of reading and writing that begins with the interpretation of animal tracks and fast-forwards to the typographical abundance of recent times. The first four sections describe the earliest creation of scripts, their movement across the world and the typographical developments within and among languages. The fifth section introduces Bringhurst's system of classifying scripts; semographic, syllabic, alphabetic and prosodic--all placed on a wheel that enables him to show the degree to which individual world languages incorporate the four aspects of recorded meaning.Measuring 4.5 x 7 inches, this small and elegantly done book is a Smyth-sewn paperback with a letterpress printed jacket. The book and jacket were designed by Bringhurst and Andrew Steeves. The books's text type face is Chaparral, designed by California's Carol Twombly and the titling type face is Carmina, designed in Germany by Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. The paper used is a machine-made rag-laid stock, printed in black, blue, umber. The book is bound into black paper, printed in silver with titling information on the front cover and spine. The hand-printed letterpress dust wrapper is made of St. Armand handmade tan-colored paper trimmed top and bottom with a deckled edge on the front turn-in. Titling is printed in black on the (dw) cover and spine. The back (dw) cover has a tape band with information on the book and author. The book is as new.