Sunday, June 30, 2013

Layouts for our ornery alphabet

Calligraphers might have it worse; it could be a prime number.  But our alphabet does pose a nagging problem; how to distribute those 26 letters in an orderly but interesting array?  

I've tried various grids:
x 13, or 13 x 2 
3 x 27 or 27 x 3 minus 1 
4 x 6 plus two
5 x 5 plus one (see April 7) 
This works if you shoehorn I and J into the same box.  It makes sense, sort of, because J was represented by I for centuries.  
Uneven lines (see May 20)
You can use any distribution that works for your design.  The layout illustrated here fits the letters roughly into 4 lines.  Starting with 7 letters in the first two lines, I let the O take up the room of two letters in the third line, and allowed the last line to expand so much that Z got a line to itself. I exaggerated the swash of G at upper right to balance all that drama in the lower left.    

By the way, note how the letters seem heavier when you reverse them to read white on black.  

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Denmark: we have 29 letters in our alphabet (adding æøå to the end). Yeah, that’s a prime number. We tend to drop the w which brings it to a more manageable number. Now I write in English and I love what you did with the g-t-s in your design.
    Thanks (again) for sharing.