The letters of the Roman alphabet are so much a part of our everyday life that often they are taken for granted. We no longer see tham for what they really are: complex and beautifully designed symbols of enormous graphic power whose colourful history stretches back many thousands of years. The computer age has easy access to technology that potentially unlocks this versatility . Today's designers, however, are in danger of losing touch with the knowledge that allows them to exploit and develop this rich inheritance. This sourcebook for the study of practical lettering and typography focuses on the visual strengths of the alphabet, examining in detail tha history and evolution of each individual letter, both upper and lower case. It also looks closely at each letter's design, describing the precise technique needed to draw it and examining and illustrating various typefaces. With additional sections on the ampersand, punctuation marks and numbers, this guide should be of interest to students, designers, typographers, calligraphers and anyone with an interest in letters and lettering.