News Column

SNAPSHOTS Alphabet scoop - finding letters in unexpected places

August 10, 2014

Since 1990, graphic designers Steven Heller (New York Times art director for 33 years) and Gail Anderson (former art director of Rolling Stone) have compiled books about typography and illustration. In The Typographic Universe (Thames & Hudson pounds 24.95), they explore "the alphabet of everyday things": letters found in unexpected places such as flowers, train sets, or bones. "Gail gave the assignment to her class and the rest fell into place," Heller says, adding that letters emerge in surprising places "almost as frequently as faces". Anderson says: "I had my own collection of found letters, so it was interesting to connect with others who were as intensely obsessed as me." Kathryn Bromwich


RULER 'N' 'This is a pretty standard trick to do when you buy a collapsible ruler, but it's just shot so nicely.' Designer: Francois Robert/Francois Robert Photography, Tucson, AZ

ALPHABONES 'M' 'Used for a poster about war, this skeleton type had so much resonance. It's completely creepy.' Designer: Francois Robert/Francois Robert Photography, Tucson, AZ

SHOESTRING ALPHABET 'S' 'I thought these were hysterical. I've never looked at my sneakers the same way since.' Designer: Pamela Speck/Violet Fox Visuals, Arlington, TX

DANCE WITH ME 'E' 'These dancers moved their hands to create letters, which were captured with long-exposure photography.' Designer: Amandine Alessandra, London

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Source: Observer (UK)

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