ampersand :: ode to the most beautiful glyph
Graphic designers are in LOVE with the ampersand, so are us lay folk who have not a clue how to use CS4 suite. What I really want to know is why? Why is everyone, including me in love with the Ampersand? for its visual effect for typophiles is transfixing.
It could be its shape, its elegance its succinct quality. What is its appropriate usage, well if you are me, all the time works. Who cares, it's elegant looking. I know it should be used sparingly like fine caviar.
Derived from the word 'et', some would argue that it is no longer a space saver in place of et, but draws more attention to itself as a design element which I quite appreciate. But in an age of WTFWYT and TTYL why not use the beautiful ampersand. I find it useful on every new tech tool for fast typing and condensing thoughts.
So don't be so rigid English majors, there is a certain poetry to them, and they look good in poetry too.
The ampersand can be traced back to the first century AD. It was originally a ligature of the letters E and T (“et” is Latin for and). If you look at the modern ampersand, you’ll likely still be able to see the E and T separately.
The first ampersands looked very much like the separate E and T combined, but as type developed over the next few centuries, it eventually became more stylized and less representative of its origins. You can see the evolution of the ampersand in the image (1 is like the original Roman ligature, 2 and 3 are from the fourth century, and 4-6 are from the ninth century). The modern ampersand has remained largely unchanged from the Carolignian ampersands developed in the ninth century.