Alphabets explores the language of letters that we see around us everyday, touching on the alphabet’s origins in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese characters, to the Greek alphabet, through to its development as a significant part of our history and visual vocabulary. From a comprehensive introduction on the origins of the written word, through to theories such as “The Alphabet Effect”, exploring the coding/decoding and abstraction of form to the more appetising concept of ‘Alphabet Soup’, Alphabets features illustrations, found objects, graphic design, art, conceptual typography, graffiti, and much more.
Through the exploration of this grouping of 26 symbols, it becomes clear that each letter has its own persona and history, and the alphabets presented in this book show how artists, typographers, illustrators and educators have responded uniquely to each individual letter. By removing the letters from the context of words and spelling, each begins to stand alone as a character in its own right. Featuring letters of all shapes and sizes, and alphabets ranging from Victorian classroom aides and Dr Seuss’ ABC through to Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin, Tauba Auerbach, and the Tangled Alphabets of León Ferrari and Mira Schendelto to ABC Blocks, phonetics, Braille, and Muji alphabet ice cube moulds, Alphabets: A Miscellany of Letters offers a cornucopia of imagery for artists, collectors and enthusiasts alike.