Sunday, October 3, 2010

Amp what? Ampersand!

There are a few things I love in life more than anything else (i.e. Mr. Giraffe, my pick up truck, graph paper), and one of the things at the top of my list is the ampersand. I love them, I blatantly check them out, drool over their good looks (I'm a little shallow when it comes to type), and would collect them if I could . . . Oh wait, I all ready do that. Yes, I collect ampersands. I'm a little bit of a nerd; it's the typographer in me, I swear.

One of the blogs I follow daily is 300&65 Ampersands, where a new ampersand is posted daily. September 28th ampersand was from the Milano typeface. Oooooh it's just lovely! (image source)
My personal favorite ampersands? Well, I mean, of course its nearly impossible to choose, but one of my top favorites is in Bodoni Bold Italic, followed closely by Palatino Italic, Helvetica, Goudy Old Style Italic, and Caslon (540) Oldstlye Italic (would my nerd side really be showing if I told you all that I knew those off the top of my head? Oh well, just keeping it real for the hive!)
(I hope you all see the humor in the fact that aside from Goudy, those fonts are typed in a different font than what they are.)

Now, nothing quite makes me happier than the fact that ampersands are now found in a ton of wedding stationary. I mean, that's quite possibly the best idea of all time (next to the Snuggie, of course). Take a look at this beauty from Oh So Beautiful Paper (image source):
Now if you're trying to decide on an ampersand for you wedding (or life) purposes and don't know where to look, or haven't found one you like, I've got the answer for you!

Every year the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) puts together something called Font Aid to benefit a cause that needs it. I know we're getting towards the end of the year, but for 2010, graphic designers in 37 different countries contributed to Font Aid IV by 'donating' an ampersand. A typeface called Coming Together, made of 400* ampersands, was created. The typeface can be downloaded at MyFonts (among other sites) for $20 and all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders and the work they're doing in Haiti.

And bonus for those looking to use the ampersands on their wedding invites, a lot of the characters use hearts as part of their shape! (screenshots provided by me)

Here's the entire set (image from here on 100 Points if you can figure out which one was designed by Miss Giraffe!

Anyone else love the ampersand enough to use it on their wedding invites? Or, better yet, has anyone seen any ampersands around lately - my collection could use a few more ;-)!

*Because Coming Together has 400 characters, many are used as glyphs. This means you must have access to your glyphs pallet (in Illustrator, for example) to be able to use them all.