Letters From Svenska

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Pyttans AB and CD to Learn is a strangely delightful ABC book dedicated to the Swedish opera singer Marianne Morner, also known as Pyttan. Painted in 1896 by “uncle” Albert Engström, it has become one of the classic works of Swedish literature. But being that my Swedish is next to ingenting, I publish it here to look at the quirkiness of the letters, the wrong strokes and the imagery, which may give you a hint at the word(s).

Be aware some of these images represent the ethnic, class and racial depictions cartoonists used during this period. But on the alphabetic side, how can you not fall in love with that cutesy Q?

albers command002
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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →