Tiny Gallery Exhibit: The History of Letterforms

History of Letterforms

Exhibit Overview

For over five thousand years, our rich history of letterforms has been evolving. From the first imprints into clay, to Egyptian hieroglyphic writing, to the earliest Sinaitic script, each culture advanced forms of communication. Around 1000 BCE the Phoenicians developed an alphabetic writing system. Known as avid traders their script spread around the Mediterranean and influenced Latin, Arabic, Hebrew and Greek scripts. Greek script then led to the Roman system of writing which is the root of western styles of calligraphy.


This exhibit highlights calligraphic work created at the Center for the Book.The term calligraphy is derived from the Greek words kallos (beautiful) and graphein (to write). Beautiful writing as represented in the student work varies from historical models to contemporary approaches to the medium.