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Big Letter, Small Letters

A random observation, brought to you by procrastination, for what it’s worth: In typography there has long been a practice of playing with scale, especially with bold letters. El Lissitzky’s famous 1924 Kunstismus book cover employs a curiously drawn yet domineering slab serif ‘K’ as a virtual road sign. “Don’t miss the -isms of art,” it says, “turn here!” Meanwhile the slimmer slab serif ‘R’ in the title of the 1932 Dutch advertising journal de Reclame is more like a pole against which the other letters lean in line. The former is akin to a logo, while the latter is just a study in contrasting sizes.

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