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Rudolf Barmettler, Rupert Kalkofen, Roland Stieger (eds.)

History and Form of the Latin Script / Histoire et forme de l’ecriture latine


German / English / French

Book design: TGG Visuelle Kommunikation, St. Gallen

92 pages, illustrated throughout, 20 × 29,7 cm, Swiss brochure

Euro [D] 28.–, Euro [A] 28.80

Not available at the moment.
ISBN 978-3-03863-083-8

out of print
CHF   28.00


→ texte français ci-dessous

• Easy-to-understand overview of the history of the Latin script 

• For students and interested laypeople who are looking for an introduction into the development of our script, from early inscriptions to digital typologies

Based on Hans Eduard Meier’s (1923–2015) standard work The Development of Script and Type (first published in 1959), the editors have completely revised the book, supplementing and expanding it with state-of-the-art scientific findings.

In his original work, Meier described the development of the Latin script, from Phoenician inscriptions and Greek  lapidarian writing to the most important printed texts of the early 20th century.

The publication ABC – History and Form of the Latin Script provides an overview of the development of the Latin script. It covers the origin of Latin characters and how they were changed and altered over the centuries and cumulates in a presentation of contemporary digital scripts and fonts. The authors supplemented Meier’s original work with a genealogy of all the fonts presented, including their font genres, as well as important 20th and early 21st century milestones that were previously absent.

The book is intended as a reference work for students of type design or visual communication, as well as for laypeople interested in fonts and scripts who would like to learn how the Latin alphabet developed across the epochs.


• Vue d’ensemble facilement compréhensible de l’histoire de l’écriture latine

• Pour les étudiant·e·s et les amateurs·rice·s intéressés désirant se faire une image du développement de notre écriture, des inscriptions précoces aux projets numériques

Sur la base de l’ouvrage standard de Hans Eduard Meier (1923–2015) Le développement des caractères (publication primaire en 1959), les éditeurs ont remanié, complété et étendu le livre pour l’adapter aux connaissances  scientifiques les plus récentes.

Meier a suivi et décrit l’évolution de l’écriture latine en partant d’inscriptions phéniciennes, en passant par l’écriture  lapidaire grecque, et en dressant un arc de cercle jusqu’aux caractères d’imprimerie les plus importants du début du
20e siècle.

La nouvelle publication ABC – Histoire et forme de l’écriture latine donne une vue d’ensemble du développement de l’écriture latine, de la naissance des caractères latins jusqu’aux trans-formations à travers les siècles, et à sa forme numérique contemporaine. Les auteurs ont ajouté une généalogie, ainsi que les genres de tous les caractères latins, et quelques jalons importants du 20e siècle et du début du 21e siècle qui manquaient jusqu’à présent.

Le livre est une référence pour les étudiant·e·s qui s’intéressent au design ou à la communication visuelle, ainsi que pour tous ceux et toutes celles qui voudraient avoir une idée des lettres de notre alphabet dans les différentes époques.


About the editors / A propos des éditeurs

Rudolf Barmettler started as a lecturer at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) for typography in 1989, headed the Visual Communication subject area from 1999 to 2008 and founded and headed the post-graduate programs CAS / MAS Type Design and Typography in 2006. His research focused on Swiss typographical design of the 20th century.

Rupert Kalkofen graduated in German Studies and History in Bonn and Konstanz, received his doctorate in Karlsruhe and taught in Karlsruhe and Konstanz. Since 1991, he has been living in St. Gallen, teaching at the University of St. Gallen and the St. Gallen University of Teacher Education (PHSG).

Roland Stieger is a trained typesetter and typographic designer as well as a co-founder of the TGG Visual Communication agency in St. Gallen. After having completed further training in type design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), he is now the co-director of the College for Visual Design at GBS St. Gallen, initiator and co-organizer of Tÿpo St. Gallen and president of VGS publishing house.

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