Alphabet: "The History, Evolution, and Design of the Letters We Use Today"
In Alphabet, noted author and typographer Allan Haley presents a lively overview of the history and graphic evolution of the Latin alphabet. Within the context of how ancient writing systems dramatically influenced the societies that conceived and adopted them, Haley examines the development of each character from a simple image representing a word or concept to an elegant graphic symbol signifying an individual sound. Haley then explores how the expressive wealth of contemporary type design reflects the complex history of each letterform. Fascinating accounts of the design development of the ampersand, the Arabic numerals, and punctuation are also included.
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acter aligns Allegory alpha ampersand appear ascenders Avant Garde Gothic base baseline basic became Bodoni bottom bowl calligraphic cap height capital letters Caroline minuscules Caslon character cian Clarendon contrast in stroke created cross stroke crossbar cursive curved strokes descenders design traits diagonal strokes Egyptian hieroglyph ercase Etruscans evolved faces fonts forms Goudy Old Style graphic Greeks adopted hairline stroke hieratic horizontal stroke italic ITC Avant Garde ITC Benguiat ITC Zapf Latin alphabet legible Letraset letterforms looked lowercase letters lowercase version numerals old style designs optical Phoeni Phoenician Phoenician alphabet punctuation qoph repre represent roman cursive roman designs round scribes serif designs serif typefaces shape slab serif slightly sound value square capitals stem stroke weight symbol tail terminal tion top and bottom top bowl top serif type designers typeface design typefaces typographic uncials uppercase usually vertical stroke weight stress width words writing style x-height yodh