Letters and fonts and design, oh my

Recently I’ve become somewhat obsessed with letters.  Not the missive type, but the 26 building blocks that are the DNA of the written word.  Here in Denmark, the alphabet has 29 letters (three extra vowels), so I am in a kind of letter heaven.  Thankfully we are not posted to Cambodia or Vietnam at the moment.  The Khmer alphabet boasts a whopping 74 letters, and I get dizzy just thinking about it.

Perhaps it stems from a love of the written word, or currently living in a country where Design (with a capital D, mange tak) is taken super seriously, but letters are everywhere.  Font is big business here in Denmark, and letters are used individually and together in Danish design quite a bit.   Look at any Scandanavian design website and you will most likely see the use of letters somewhere.  You can spend a lot of Kroner buying  handle-less mugs (the Danes don’t like handles for some reason I can’t fathom—I guess it messes with the clean lines thing) emblazoned with Arne Jacobsen initials (and yes, I have), but you can just as easily walk into a Tiger shop (think Dollar Tree, but with slightly more oomph and better quality) and pick up a basket full of ABCs.

I have been toying with the idea of an alphabet photo project for some time.  Actually since 2nd born was an infant and I thought it would be cool to have a book of letter based photographs.  Never happened.  I’m not a stellar photographer, but with a little patience, I can usually get something that’s in focus.  Photographing an inanimate object, such as a street sign, shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.  Famous last words.

As I start to take the first few steps down this journey I’ve imagined for myself, it seems like a marriage made in heaven.  Stirring together a love of words, a creative endeavor and some paid for free time should be enjoyable.  Attempting it in a place that has elevated the alphabet to an art form makes the pot that much sweeter.

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D.E. Haggerty

Writer, Blogger, Book Addict

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