Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-2017


Typography is the study of language letterforms, phonographic alphabetic characters that, when combined with additional characters, form words and/or sentences to express an idea and communicate a message to an audience. The history of typographic design dates back to early civilization and the invention of alphabetic writing systems, formulated and processed through the literary skills of the Hebrew Scribe Ezra whose knowledge and practice offered a significant contribution within a predominantly oral society. By examining the history of Hebrew typography through the discourse of biblical writing systems and alphabetic design, the article addresses the development of Hebrew scripts evolving from original laws of the Torah and external influences such as exile and displacement. The article further investigates the history, practice, and contributions of the Soferim, who, from the time of the Babylonian exile, transcribed the writing of sacred texts using a strict method of design, as stated in Jewish law. By examining the scribal processes, a comparison is made between ancient and contemporary typographic principles and design.