Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-2-2017


The article reviews the history of letterforms and typographic design by discussing inventions in scripts, tools, and technology which impact the evolution of visual language and writing systems. Principles and elements of typography are analyzed using the Hebrew alphabet as an example in letterform design by exploring the work of Israeli designer, Yaakov Stark, who as an Israeli immigrant from Eastern Europe projects centered on Hebrew typography and the hybridization of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi scripts. Through an archive of work produced while a student at the Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem in 1906, Stark has influenced generations of Israeli designers, but is not discussed within the standard American university design curriculum. The article aims to explore the history of letterforms and the study of typography through an alternative perspective by examining the work of a lesser-known designer whose text and image subjects and processes represent a nonwestern nationalism, symbolism and writing systems.