The Origin of the Serif: Brush Writing & Roman Letters

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Catich Gallery, St. Ambrose University, 1991 - Alphabet - 310 pages
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This handsomely illustrated book goes beyond a discussion of the serif. Here you will find a new approach to the history, lineage, & development of our alphabet, a detailed explanation of letter cutting in stone, the manner in which the brush differs from all other writing tools, & the role it played in the shaping of our classic Roman alphabet, with a wealth of other information pertinent to the graphic arts. During four years (1935-1939) of intensive paleographic & epigraphic research, in Rome, Italy, Fr. Catich saw & formulated the kinesthetic linkage between the inscription letter-making of Imperial Rome & his own familiar Chicago sign writing. The serif is the short cross stroke at the beginning & end of letter parts. Its origin in Roman inscription letters is one of the uncharted areas of paleography. In this book the author questions accepted theories as to the serif's origin, & advances his own theory with skillful reasoning, detailed illustration, & epigraphic proof.

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