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Devoex
Monday, September 25 –  Friday, December 15, 2017

Learning from Letterforms, Past & Present

Letterforms surround us. We encounter them in the built environment but also in the natural one—from inscribed memorials and hand-lettered menus to initials carved into tree trunks and messages written in wet sand. A letter is the smallest unit in an alphabetic system of writing, though this is only one of many systems for storing and transmitting information. The formal and material qualities of letterforms bear witness to a long tradition of abstract symbols enabling the exchange of ideas. Letterforms, however, also have meaning beyond the speech sounds they represent. With the flourish of a pen stroke or the attributes of a particular typeface, letterforms reveal seemingly limitless variety within a given set of technological constraints and stylistic conventions.

This exhibition features examples of some of the many resources available for the exploration and study of letterforms in Arts Library Special Collections. These include both historic and contemporary type specimens, penmanship copybooks, and graphic identity manuals as well as broadsides, bookplates, and artists’ books.

Admission: Free
Contact Information: Yale University Library, 203-432-1810

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