Alphabets (a Manual of Lettering for the use of Students with Historical and Practical Descriptions – Edward F. Strange
Chosen by Tom Shaughnessy
Type nerds are always on the lookout for something different, something they haven’t seen before, something that inspires and can inform their own work. Sometimes it pays to look back, so when I happened upon this beautiful specimen in a dusty bookshop, I bagged it.
Published in 1904 ‘ALPHABETS a Manual of Lettering for the use of Students with Historical and Practical Descriptions’, covers typography and lettering from Roman times, the middle ages and through the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It’s crammed with page after page of beautiful examples of weird and wonderful letterforms, some familiar, some not so much. A particular favourite is the 7th Century Anglo-Saxon Square Capitals example, the characters displaying distinctive and beautiful variations of familiar Roman letters.
Perhaps not for everybody, but for any self-respecting type nerd, a thing of beauty and a welcome edition to the ‘collection’.