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The Twenty-Six Letters
by Oscar Ogg
ISBN 0442272529 / 9780442272524 / 0-442-27252-9
Publisher Van Nostrand Reinhold
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The 26 Letters, the classic history of the alphabet, is now available in a newly revised paperback edition for the first time. Recently discovered facts about historical letterforms, as well as an entire chapter on modern typography and printing techniques, have been incorporated. The story begins with the wall scratchings of prehistory and continues through Egyptian hieroglyphics to the Phoenician origin of the true alphabet. The Greeks developed well-formed, definite characters, while the Romans evolved the letters still used today. Lowercase forms evolved in the Middle Ages and were refined in uncial, semiuncial, and Caroline forms. The invention of printing and type led to the creation of a fascinating diversity of faces and finally to today's phototypography and electronic typesetting. The 26 Letters is an essential reference for student and professional graphic designers, typographers, and calligraphers. Lavishly illustrated with over 200 examples, it covers the history of the alphabet from its beginnings to its fullest modern expression. [via]