iABC

The idea: Look at the history, shape and sound pattern of each letter, sum it up in 140 characters, and collect a beautiful specimen for each letter.

It started with a random tweet in December 2010—“Do you have a favorite font for every letter?”—and turned into an surprising back-and-forth between a hobby kabbalist (me), and a real type professor (Indra). Here is round one:

Capital A., from the Phosphat typeface

A is the mother. It’s the metaphysical Bull (?) leaping from beyond into existence (beth).

Capital B., from the Bandstand typeface

B is (A the mother’s) breast, the first contact with reality.

Capital C., from the Salome typeface

C: the camel (gimel) carrying the bull (A) into existence (B)—through the door (D): sophisticated, classy, and supernaturally strong.

Capital D., from the Fette Fraktur typeface

D: as in Daleth—originally both a poor man & a door—elastic & tense: a bow. An empty pocket, dangerously hungry. Things are getting real from here.

Capital E., from the Fresco typeface

E: the fork of the Beelzebub. Enters through the eye causing Evil, ending in headache, emptiness, Ekel.

Capital F., from the Miedinger typeface

F: Clearly a fleshy fat phallus. A fucking machine gun.

Capital G., from the FF Schulschrift typeface

G is a grown up C, conscious 7th letter, sensible & forgiving, great without pretension. The grandmother.

Capital H., from the Zag Drops Thin typeface

H: pompous, self-important, empty. Full of air, taking its space, imposing itself. Claiming territory. A construct, a fence. Sigh

Capital I., from the Zanzibar typeface

I is the stinging pain from a full-on fist punch (letter #9) coming from the legs with a straight arm right into your face.

Capital H., from the Kismet typeface

J: ironic I. Connecting (i = splitting) in words—ending in numerals. Italy invented it—its alphabet rejects it—embraced by GJermans.

Capital k., from the Quirinus Bold typeface

K is the hand. It’s the letter that grabs you, draws you to itself, bites, chews, swallows, and digests you. Kraft.

Capital L., from the Vendetta OT typeface

L is the lovely shepherd’s staff, while he plays the flute or the lyre, with his back against the tree.

Capital H., from the Aniuk typeface

M: Forma est omen! M: Marking the 1st middle of the ABC; the 1st sound we speak (before A), and end of the physical half of the ABC.

Capital N., from the Farnham typeface

N: They say: “N” pictured a water wave. They say: it’s the original M. No! —But “No” is the central clock-wheel of our mind [????]…

Capital O., from the Futura ND typeface

O: Circles are soft and perfect. So it might be astonishing—but it’s not a coincidence that N is followed by O before P. Why? See P.

Capital P., from the Parsnip typeface

P: Comical uncle Paul with his uncle hat & Popeye pipe, sticking out his tongue. Let’s not fool ourselves, penises are ridiculous.

Capital P., from the Parsnip typeface

Q is the brain. And it’s the Queen of letters.

Capital R., from the Fran Tigue typeface

R is the toRso, the pRofile, it adds dRive and chaRacter. According to Plato the tongue is “least static and most vibrant” pronouncing it.

Capital S., from the Pollen typeface

S is the tooth, the Snake—smart and agile—evil at times—most beautiful—most difficult—it puts a spell on every word it sneaks into.

Capital T., from the Berthold Caslon typeface

T: Dumb and unpretentious like Atlas, T is the most stable and unstable. It gives structure and proves to be very powerful in pairs.

Capital U., from the Museo typeface

U: the belly, the Unterleib. Intuitive, sensitive, deep, powerful, slow. Looks like an ABC-Urelement, but it’s not: It’s a deeper V.

Capital V., from the Aquila typeface

V like Venus, vagina, vulva, literally spreads its legs. Unlike F, it’s not clearly obscene—but it’s rarely as innocent as it acts.

Capital W., from the Bellwether Antique typeface

W’s wild magic turns everything upside down. The wicked witch of the alphabet.

Capital X., from the Alpha Bloc typeface

X = “the thing”. Acting like the unknown by definition, it makes people watch, listen, think, and speculate.

Capital Y., from the Bell typeface

Y is the champagne glass among the letters. The classiest sister in the (f)uvwy family.

Capital Z., from the Stilla EF typeface

Z: As the last sword stroke, it took some time for Z to defy O and T to become the guardian of the ultimate alphabetic void beyond.

Make sure you don’t miss Indra’s full iABC collection.