"The dark horse of the keyboard, the ampersand exists to join things together, yet remains set apart. Whilst everyone can read and understand the ampersand, or the & symbol, how many of us know where it came from?
Alistair Sooke traces the history of the funny little character that has quietly given joy to so many, from a bored medieval scribe right the way through to a modern day digital font designer. Delighting type designers throughout the centuries as a chance within a font to create a small piece of art, it is a joyful moment in a functional resource. Speaking to Ampersfans Alastair enters into a world of letterpress, punchcutting and typography and discovers how the ampersand can be found at every step of the way, bringing a joyful flick of a tail to the dullest document.
If you thought the ampersand was a bright young thing in the world of type, you couldn't be more wrong; first credited to Marcus Tiro around 63 BC, combing the letters e and t from the Latin word 'et'. Fighting off competition from his nemesis, the 'Tironian Mark', Alastair then tracks the ampersand to 16th Century Paris where it was modelled in the hands of type designer to the King, Claude Garamond, then back across the sea to William Caslon's now famous interpretation, designed with a joyful array of flourishes and swirls. Alastair will discover how the ampersand became a calling card for many typographers, showcasing some of their best and most creative work.
A simple twist of the pen, the ampersand has managed to captivate its audience since print began, in Ampersfan Alistair tries to pin down this slippery character down once and for all."
(BBC Radio 4 Programmes, 2012)
Alistair Sooke (2012). "Ampers-Fan", Producer: : Jo Meek & Gillian Donovan, A Sparklab Production for BBC Radio 4, Last broadcast on Monday, 16:00 on BBC Radio 4.
"Stage one Graphic Design Communication students have been developing a new ornamental display font with highly Individual characters inspired by drawing digitally and laser cut manufactured to the exacting standards reminiscent of a traditional font foundry.
Level tutor Nigel Bents and Associate Lecturer Paul Oakley will further support students by printing typographic posters at the New North Press."
(Graphic Design Communication at Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 October 2011)
"This is a website dedicated to free fonts that are readily available on the web that I use regularly and would like to share. Of course free fonts aren't always the best option and good typography isn't just about pretty fonts, but there are a few out there that are more than worth a look, and I have featured some of my favourites here.
Please note: I am not distributing these fonts or claiming ownership, I'm just trying to point fellow designers in the direction of some useful resources."
"ARLINGTON, Va.; July 18, 2011 - PBS announced today the premiere of “Off Book,” a new web series focused on experimental and non-traditional art forms on PBSArts.org that begins July 20 . This 13-part, bi-weekly series explores the ever-changing definition of art in the hands of the next generation of artists taking creative reigns and melding art with new media. ...
Produced by New York-based production company Kornhaber Brown, ”Off Book” trains a lens on the lives of various artists working in interactive art, online collective art, fashion design, typography, indie music, videogame art, and more. In three-to-five-minute video snapshots of creators who ride the cutting edge, viewers can explore the process, motivation, meaning, and relevance behind their work.
Just as actors reach a point at which they’re confident enough to go ‘off-book’ and leave their scripts behind, the visual and performing artists featured in this series are taking the next steps with their talents and training, forging new artistic paths. “Off Book” will offer interactive experiences for each of its 13 online episodes, encouraging further viewer participation and providing additional artistic inspiration. ...
The World of Typography - The diversity of typographic expression comes to life through conversations with iconic graphic designer Paula Scher, font designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler, the experimental young designer Eddie Opara, and cutting-edge info-graphic creators Deroy Peraza and Julia Vakser."
Fig.1 PBSArts.org (2011). "Off Book", Episode 2, premiered 3 August 2011, (original series premiered 20 July 2011).