• Steven Heller

Lettering is Lots ‘O Laffs

Lettering has long been a visual experience (as well as a reading one). Perhaps its origins are in the pre-Egyptian signs and symbols known as hieroglyphics … or perhaps it comes from our relatives out in space, who … (well, nevermind). Bottom line is that lettering and type are vessels of language but also pictorial representations that have evolved into the elements of meaning.

Jacob A. Ornstein’s Lettering for Fun (Bridgeman Publishers, 1939) is an Avant Garde-ish comic version of what Avant Gardists of the ’20s and ’30s did for serious play—using letters in an anthropomorphic-ish way, like Kurt Schwitters’ children’s book The Scarecrow (1925) and El Lissitzky’s Basic Calculus (1928). The rest speaks for itself.

PRINT’s 2017 New Visual Artists Are Here!

Get the latest issue of PRINT to discover our annual list of 15 of the best creatives today under 30. Plus …

  1. A look at the rebranding of an old industry made anew: marijuana

  2. A Manifesto from Scott Boylston on the dire need for sustainability in design

  3. Paul Sahre’s memoir/monograph Two-Dimensional Man

  4. Debbie Millman’s Design Matters: In PRINT, featuring Jonathan Selikoff

  5. And much more!

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