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This remarkable volume is the most comprehensive, most thoughtful, and most entertaining examination of a single set of letters I've ever read. The very notion that 1,900-year-old letters will be used to advertise a blockbuster at your local multiplex next weekend is astonishing, and is testimony to the enduring power of the classical Roman capital. -- Michael Bierut, partner, Pentagram; author, Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design The Roman capitals are the true test that type designers will ignore at their peril. This volume sets the standard for all books that will ever be written on the topic. What an amazing resource! So much research, knowledge, and love have gone into it. It will be on the top of my desk from now on. If I had to read The Eternal Letter forty years ago, I might have been too scared to begin trying to design type. -- Erik Spiekermann, type designer; author, Stop Stealing Sheep The Eternal Letter addresses at length the subject of the Trajan letter, its imitators, and its sometimes wayward progeny. It is written by a team of acknowledged experts and superbly illustrated. Every spread is a delight and a revelation. -- Sebastian Carter, author, Twentieth Century Type Designers This long-awaited publication is all that I hoped it would be: extremely well-researched and illustrated, beautifully designed, and like the classical Roman letter itself, able to stand the test of time. -- Peter Bil'ak, founder, Typotheque
Paul Shaw, an award-winning graphic designer, typographer, and calligrapher in New York City, teaches at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts. The designer or codesigner of eighteen typefaces, he is the coauthor of Blackletter: Type and National Identity and the author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System (MIT Press). He writes about letter design in the blog Blue Pencil.
This beautifully designed book traces the Roman capital and its progeny, shown in more than 400 full-color illustrations including Latin inscriptions, calligraphic interpretations, and modern incarnations on advertisements and movie posters. Full of essays by practitioners of typography and lettering, The Eternal Letter is richly detailed and visually captivating, offering a comprehensive examination-from stone carving to computer pixilation-of the classical Roman capital and its eternal power. -Boston Globe