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Big Letters, Big Numbers Calendar
Big Letters,
Big Numbers

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The Calligrapher's Bible
The Calligrapher's Bible

Creative Process Education Bookshelf

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Alphabets, Letters & Numbers Educational Posters & Charts,
pg 2/3

alphabets, letters & numbers posters 1 | 2 | 3 | typography < literature

Detail Illuminated Text Adoration of Magi, Giclee Print
Detail Illuminated Text Adoration
of Magi,
Giclee Print

Calligraphy, from the Greek ‘kalligraphia’ which means beautiful writing, refers to writing that conveys meaning through design as well as stringing a line of glyphs together. The detail of the illuminated text is an example of a style of lettering developed c. 12th century Europe known as Gothic (from the East Germanic language of the Goths circa 4th-6th centuries) and was practiced by the learned monks as a means of copying existing manuscripts (documents written by hand) prior to the advent of moveable type.

When the text of a manuscript is supplemented with emblished initials, borders and illustrations, it is refered to as illuminated because of the medieval practice of using gold and silver to bring “light” to the page.

The Book of Kells, perhaps the most noted illuminated manuscript, was produced by Celtic monks around AD 800 and contains the four gospels of the Bible in Latin.

• more Middle Ages posters

Tablet with Fourteen Lines of a Mathematical Text in Cuneiform Script and a Geometric Design, Giclee Print
Tablet with
Fourteen Lines of a Mathematical Text in Cuneiform Script and a Geometric Design,
Giclee Print

The cuneiform (q-knee-a-form), a script that gets its name from the wedge shaped impressions left by a reed stylus in a clay tablet (L. cuneus = wedge), is one of the earliest known writing systems.

Over the course of several thousand years the pictograph system devised by the Sumerian (c. 3000 BC), was simplified and abstracted. In due course cuneiform was adapted by many cultures and inspired national alphabets. Cuneiform was gradually supplanted by Aramaic.

Middle East posters
Cuneiform: Reading the Past

An Example of Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Giclee Print
An Example
of Egyptian Hieroglyphics,
Giclee Print

• more Egypt posters

Hieroglyphics is the term used to decribe a writing system of characters. The word is from the Greek ‘hieros’ (holy) and ‘glyph’ (to carve). It was first used by the Greeks to describe the Egyptian system.

anthropology posters
How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself

Chinese Ideograms, Temple, Beijing, China Photographic Print
Chinese Ideograms, Temple, Beijing, China, 
Photographic Print

• more China posters

An ideogram is a graphic symbol representing an idea.

An illustration or photograph of an object is not an ideogram.

Subcultures such as hobos and gypsies used symbols to alert fellow travellers as to what they hobo sign for dogcould expect when they came into an unfamiliar area. For instance the hobo sign that resembled a couple of closely spaced ws would get the idea of ‘beware of the dog’ across to the next hobo.

Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880-1930

Idiom Alphabet Poster
Idiom Alphabet Poster

Idioms are “figures of speech”, expressions whose meaning can't be deduced from literal definitions: “apple of your eye” someone or something that is very special to you, or “bite the dust” for dying.

Ancient Pictographs on a Rock Wall, Photographic Print
Ancient Pictographs
on a Rock Wall,
Photographic Print

Pictographs are drawn symbols representing and resembling a concept, object, activity, place or event, by illustration. In contrast a petroglyph is a symbol carved into a rock, and an ideogram represents an idea.

Pictographs, which predate cuneiform and hieroglyphs, are also common today as signs and instruction in public places (restroom facilities, campgrounds) and as warning for hazards.

Some Latin characters have evolved from pictorgrams- for instance the letter H which came from the Egyptian hieroglyph for fence.

Gold Plate with Phoenician Inscription, from Santa Severa, Pyrgi, 5th Century BC, Giclee Print
Gold Plate with Phoenician Inscription, from Santa Severa, Pyrgi, Italy, 5th Century BC,
Giclee Print

The Phoenician writing system was widely spread by merchants around the Mediterranean area; the Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Coptic alphabets, as well as scripts used in modern India, SE Asia, Tibet, and Mongolia, evolved from the Phoenician. Phoenician is classified as Semetic, along with Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew; the term Semetic is after Shem, the son of Noah.

Rosetta Stone, Giclee Print
Rosetta Stone,
Giclee Print

The Rosetta Stone, a stele from the Ptolemaic era (c 196 BC), was discovered in the Egyptian Mediterranean coastal city of Rosetta in 1799 by the the French, and has been kept in the British Museum since 1802.

The texts of the Rosetta Stone is a decree repealing taxes and erection of temple statues. The value of the Rosetta Stone lay in the mundane content being written in three different language scripts: hieroglyphic and Demotic Egyptian, and in classical Greek. In a process similar to learning foreign languages by comparing the multi-language text of technical manuals, Frenchman Jean-François Champollion deciphered previously undecipherable ancient writing.

Rune Stone Outside Gripsholm Castle, Giclee Print
Rune Stone
Outside Gripsholm Castle, Sweden,
Giclee Print

Runes are letters used to write Germanic languages prior to and shortly after the Christianization of the British Isles and Scandinavia.

Odin, the chief god in the Norse pantheon, is credited with the invention of runes; among his many roles is wisdom, death, and poetry.

Runes have come to be used in divination, fantasy games and literature. Author J.R.R. Tolkien's constructed a runic script as part of the story in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Morse Code Alphabet and Punctuation Giclee Print
Morse Code Alphabet
and Punctuation,
Giclee Print

Telegraphy, from the Greek tele = far and graphein = write, is the transmission of written messages over long distances without physically transporting the message. Smoke signals, beacons, and semaphore are examples of optical telegraphy, however their effectiveness was dependent of time of day and weather conditions.

Samuel F. B. Morse and his assistant Alfred Vail developed an electric telegraph and a code of dots and dashes representing letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters, that was patented in the US in 1837. The first transatlantic telegraph cable completed in 1866, the Pacific cable was completed in 1902.

Wireless communication, or radio, was successfully demonstrated by several people at the turn of the 20th Century. Guglielmo Marconi is generally attibuted with sending and receiving radio signals in Italy in 1896.

• more inventions posters
Your Introduction to Morse Code

Art of Penmanship Art Print
Art of Penmanship
Art Print

One of the definitions of scripts is handwriting or penmanship styles.

Hand printing is making each letter separate, cursive is making the letters in a word connected, or all in one single complex stroke.

• more reading posters
Cursive Writing Made Easy & Fun (Grades 2-5)

Shorthand Writing, Giclee Print
Shorthand Writing,
Giclee Print

Stenography, the “abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed or brevity” was used as early as the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese.

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last updated 10/13/13