Quirky Letters

A typography series dedicated to fabulous quirky letters inspired by Keith Hou­s­ton’s Shady Char­ac­ters. Each month a new design celebrating a different char­ac­ter will appear here, on Instagram and in the studio as a calendar.

Speech Marks

The quotation mark, (or marks as they never party alone) has quite a deep-rooted and inconsistent use throughout history. Originally named the diple or ‘double’ due to its dual intersecting lines (>),

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Straight Forward Dagger

Dagger

The dagger symbol originated from a variant of the obelus originally depicted by a plain line ( − ) or a line with one or two dots ( ÷ ). It represented an iron roasting spit,

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Straightforward Silcrow

Silcrow

The section sign (§), also know as a silcrow,a section mark, a double S (§§) or in some parts of Europe a paragraph mark, has a few uses. The typographic character is mainly used in legal documents to reference a section,

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Straight Forward Pilcrow

Pilcrow

The Pilcrow is a typographical character denoting individual paragraphs. The first way of dividing sentences into groups was the ancient Greek paragraphos, a horizontal line in the left margin, which then evolved to the Pilcrow (¶).

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Straightforward Dash

Dash

The dash is one of the youngest punctuation marks but it is unclear as to when the dash came in to common use, some note that it only really started to appear from the eighteenth century onwards.

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Straightforward Tilde

Tilde

The best clue to the origin of the tilde is found in the King James Bible. Matthew 5:18, Jesus says to his disciples: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass,

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Straight Forward Interrobang

Interrobang

The interrobang is a non-standard punctuation mark that combines the functions of a question mark and an exclamation point. Originally a mark for rhetorical questions, interrobang can also be used to ask an excited question and express excitement or disbelief.

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Straight Forward Asperand

Asperand

The origin of one of the most graceful characters on the keyboard is a mystery. One theory is the symbol evolved from an abbreviation of “each at”—the “a” encased by an “e.” The first documented use was in 1536,

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Straightforward Manicule

Manicule

The manicule is a punctuation mark which is named after the Latin root manicula, meaning “little hand”. Other names for the symbol include printer’s fist, bishop’s fist, digit, mutton-fist, hand,

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Straightforward Octothorps

Octothorpe

The origin of the octothorpe is veiled in mystery. It is thought to boast noble Latin roots, although its use so promiscuous the meaning can change entirely upon the context,

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Straightforward Ampersand

Ampersand

The ampersand is the logogram &, representing the conjunction and. It can be traced back to the 1st century A.D. and the Old Roman cursive, in which the letters E and T occasionally were written together to form a ligature.

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