26 Letters

’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.

Click here to order a copy of the book on Amazon.

‘26 Letters’ was edited by Freda Sack, John Simmons and Tim Rich.

Latest 26 images

Disused pub in Hoxton by Andy York
Photo by Lucy Beevor
Image by Tony Linkson
Found on the island of Giglio, Italy by Chris Bird.
26 Screenshot by Lara Muth
I live at number 26, and this is my bin!  Rebecca Thomas
Captured in Venice by Elen Lewis
26-jane
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Spotted by Marin Lee at the Serpentine in Hyde Park
Spotted in Copenhagen by Helen MacKinven.
Spotted on the airfield of Tivat airport in Montenegro by Martin Lee
I took this picture in a fabulous vegan and raw food restaurant in Turin - Ezri Carlebach
Spotted in Capri by Laura Hunter
Woods near Jouqueviel, Midi-Pyrenees, 10 minutes after I had told my walking group about 26. They gave me a funny look. By David Mathews
Image by Ed Pritchard
Image by Lydia Thornley in Krakow
Spotted in Belfast by Jonathan Holt
From Christmas travels in Krakow by Lydia Thornley
Night time lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley
Daytime lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley