The letter A


It’s no secret that I have a major fascination and deep, abiding love of type, typography, page design, art, composition, colour, white space. I have a nice collection of letters and alphabets and typesetting blocks, all in various materials. On occasion, I check in with a few of the type and font hounds that are around the world and available through the internet…and today, I found this brochure with the letter A.

Alpha, first. One of 26 (in Canadian English, anyway). Oh my goddess of type and design, I fell in love with the letter A on this brochure.

As I looked at it more closely, it became more interesting. Looking at the serif at the feet of the A, it somehow came to life and it seemed that the little serif feet anchored the each of the letters to the fine line they were standing on.  I noticed more: the lines and the circles and the different sizes of circles and the grid and the black lettering and use of colour; how one letter A touches the other letter A and even though they touch and are close and convey to the viewer that they are clearly together, in a universe of circles that might be real or imagined or just coloured differently, there is this gorgeous white space that they are standing in and that surrounds them and makes them stand out as proudly as they do and the brightly coloured one and the more pale coloured one and in this gorgeous white space they are together and distinct individuals. One seems to stand behind the other and how the colours are complementary. How they just fit. How brilliantly composed. How artfully executed.

It’s the kind of type design that got better the more I looked at it. It came alive. Yes, I actually anthropomorphised a letter of the alphabet: this is quite possibly the sexiest, most compelling design and composition of the letter I’ve ever seen. And a lesson in looking closely which, incidentally, came the day after I read the first chapter of Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose titled, Close Reading.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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2 Responses to The letter A

  1. letempspasse says:

    While you were falling in love with an A, I was enthralled by the echocardiographic images of an incredibly diseased cardiac valve. Enthusiastic internal monologue ensued: “Oh wow! How cool is that !!… that’s A-MA-ZING! Will you look at ALL that calcium! That valve is barely moving. How can this man still be alive?!? That is incredible… Magnificent…” And then, I came back to earth. This was not a good thing for this person to have… Much better to be in love with an A.

    PS: how fitting that someone who writes about “Reading like a Writer” be called F. Prose. 😉

    • FS says:

      There is something quite amazing about the body when it’s working and when it’s not. And yes, very fitting.

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