’26 Letters’ is an extraordinary record of an extraordinary exhibition – an open exploration of the alphabet by some of today’s leading designers and writers. Through visual reproductions and a series of written accounts, this book captures the research, the concepts, the relationships and the techniques behind a unique collaborative project.
How often do we think about the individual letters of our alphabet? What are their histories, their personalities, their stories? What does C mean to you? Where did X come from? How does N make you feel?
In 2004 the writing group 26 and the International Society of Typographic Designers joined forces to explore the DNA of language. Twenty-six business writers were randomly paired with twenty-six graphic designers, given one letter each and asked to create a collaborative work that celebrated, explored, questioned, elucidated or subverted their character.
The British Library acted as a resource for information and inspiration, and the resulting exhibition – ‘26 Letters: Illuminating The Alphabet’ – was displayed throughout the Library building in the latter part of 2004.