The book Twentieth-Century Type (affiliate link) by Lewis Blackwell gives a history of type fonts developed in the last century. I found it useful because it puts all the names of the fonts that sit on your computer into a historical time line:
  • Books copied by hand in the middle ages
  • Metal setting: serif fonts
  • Bauhaus aesthetic and sans serif type
  • Photo setting, advertising, display fonts and using fonts as elements in abstract compositions
  • Desktop publishing

Professional graphics design has made quantum leaps because of technology. I find a mirror of this in my own personal development in design from starting to experiment with typography in the time of WordPerfect to 2011 where I am getting interest in applying poster design concepts into PowerPoint.