Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $7.27 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by chris6ooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Some wear on the covers. Book inside is in good and clean condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Letter by Letter Paperback – March 20, 2008


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$17.68
$10.98 $5.98


Frequently Bought Together

Letter by Letter + Wordplay: The Philosophy, Art, and Science of Ambigrams
Price for both: $29.45

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

$25 Amazon.com Gift Card
Receive a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card for Fine Art Purchases of $100 or more. Restrictions apply, see offer for details.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (March 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987378
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Although readers won't find Arial (the favorite default sans-serif on the computer) or Zapf Dingbats (the most commonly used typographic ornaments, at least on the Macintosh), they will be told about the calligraphic and engraved origins of the Western alphabet, particularly the Roman letter, with such clarity (and a touch of raciness) that even the novice will be appreciative. -- New York Times Book Review, June 1, 2008

Today, the computer has turned many unschooled nondesigners ino ersatz typographers. Since type is now so integrated into our everyday lives, it is imperative we be more in the know--indeed, literate--about how letter forms developed and typefaces came to be. Letter by Letter by Laurent Pflughaupt, a designer and calligrapher who studied at l'Ecole Municipale Superieure des Arts et Techniques in Paris, is a Baedaeker of letters from "A" to "Z." Although readers won't find Arial (the favorite default sans-serif on the computer) or Zapf Dingbats (the most commonly used typographic ornaments, at least on the Macintosh), they will be told about the calligraphic and engraved origins of the Western alphabet, particularly the Roman letter, with such clarity (and a touch of raciness) that even the notice will be appreciative. -- New York Times, 6/1/2008

Few books have really explored the meaning, origins and aesthetic of individual letters in the Roman alphabet. Pflughaupt, a Parisian designer, calligrapher and artist, examines the very form of these building blocks that make our language possible, providing a rich and unusual background that combines paleography, phonetics, graphic arts and even musicology. While this book has been written for artists and linguists, the information contained within will enhance the knowledge of anyone who reads or writes using this particular alphabet. --Book News Inc., August 2008

About the Author

Laurent Pflughaupt is a designer, calligrapher, and artist. He received his degree from l'École municipale supérieure des arts et techniques in Paris.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Fripp on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Letter by Letter" by Laurent Pflughaupt lays bare its author's passion for the origins and anatomy of lettering. Pflughaupt guides us, from "History" (ancient Cuneiform to the Roman alphabet) and thence to modern styles, in a succinct 18 pages. Then he plunges into his passion, supplying a "genealogy" for the twenty-six letters we think we know so well -- his "Letter by Letter" section. Here he explains origins and transformations of these ancient and modern symbols that have conveyed the richness of human communication through recorded history. Indeed, these letters were, and remain, the iconic symbols by which much of that history was recorded and recalled.

One wishes for more. For example, discrete symbols in Old English sounded out the diphthongs "th" and "gh." They disappeared when Gutenberg's moveable type imposed standardized forms. Never mind; regional variants abounded across Europe, and Pflughaupt's focus is the Roman twenty-six.

In 1963, Ben Rosen asked his former teacher, designer Will Burtin, to contribute the Foreword for Rosen's book, "Type and Typography: The Designer's Type Book." Rosen's book predates Pflughaupt's "Letter by Letter" ("Lettres Latines," 2003) by forty years, but Burtin's comments about Rosen's fonts also apply to Pflughaupt's letters. Burtin wrote: "Each typeface is a piece of history, like a chip in a mosaic that depicts the development of human communication. Each typeface is also a visual record of the person who created it -- his skill as a designer, his philosophy as an artist, his feeling for ... the details of each letter and the resulting impressions of an alphabet or a text line.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
"The triangle is associated with the color yellow and with the spiritual world." -- page 33.

That should tell you all you need to know about this book.

Two stars given, as the description does mention it will "forego the conventional historical approach" to looking at letters. However, I could not imagine how far off the beaten path this book intended to go, nor how uninspiring the resulting book would be.

Other points:

The book is broken up into three sections. The first, concerning the history of western alphabets, reads like a poorly-written Wikipedia entry: it strays from topic to topic, without much depth or narrative to bring the reader through the chapter.

The second section is a formal analysis of letterforms. While most of this section is steeped in mysticism (see the triangle quote above), it does provide a quick introduction to the parts of a letter. However, if one is truly interested in typography, there are many more free and better-written guides to be found on-line. This section even has portions devoted to chakras and colors, and how they tie into the greater whole of letters.

The third section looks at each letter in-depth. Again, the reader is treated to mysticism, with the addition of questionable research.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Sansom on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a joy to read or peruse. Visually beautiful. Very entertaining, even insightful. But, I have some serious reservations about some of the historical claims. The book attempts a sweeping historical perspective by making many grand historical claims. You'll find that many better dictionaries give a history of individual letters of the alphabet. And they don't mesh particularly well with some of the claims of Laurent Pflughaupt. Moreover, the persistence of certain kinds of claims by Pflughaupt suggests to me a certain religious/historical bent (or bias, perhaps).

That said, I'm no expert on the history, so feel free to disregard my gripes. One way or another, the book is a pleasure to read at length or just to browse.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again