The alphabet, but not as we know it…

alphabet light writing

The alphabet in light writing, found on Nir Tober’s Flickr.

alphabet hair

The hairy Futura typeface, found on Behance.

alphabet human

Human crafted typeface, found on Hijack Your Life (link removed, no longer working) via Brand Flakes for Breakfast.

alphabet in the sky

Type in the sky alphabet, from looking up through the gaps in buildings, found on Slanted via Noisy Decent Graphics.

alphabet shutters

Eine’s East End of London shopfront shutter letters, found on Dave Gorman’s Flickr pages.

alphabet sign language

Sign language alphabet, created from match books (larger version of the sign language alphabet). Found on C71123, after a lot of “folding, gluing, and holding until dry.”

alphabet life objects photo

The Alphabet Photo Gallery by Abba Richman at (link removed, no longer working).

alphabet photos

Inspired by Abba Richman’s collection, prior to this, Thomas Fredriksen created his own alphabet photo collection on (broken link removed).

If light writing is your thing, here’s a post with some light writing YouTube videos.

55 responses

  1. Nice post! I looked at your list of “alpha-pics” several times and each time I found something new. My question is…how did you manage to find all of the pictures?

  2. Wow, those are beautiful; however, the funniest thing is that the hair type I find the most exquisite out of the bunch you selected, but the most repulsive at the same time.

    A friend of mine has a type exercise with organic material, you should check out:

    Keep up the great posts!

  3. The Swiss_Mouse doesn’t believe this is the same thing as what he heard on NPR. A couple created an “alphabet” game for their children, find letters in their everyday life (trees, clouds, etc) and they photographed them.

    They gave away some collections as gifts and suddenly, boom. Demand was huge and now they make sweet cheddar publishing these books.

    Perhaps the Swiss_Mouse should start a similar project with cheese!

  4. I really like the matchbook sign language one. I remember John sharing the sky one on Redsil a while ago, before he got so busy with iLT. And I’d have to agree with Randa about the hair one. Ew.

    The people one reminds me of Love Letters (warning: nudity, artistic and tasteful, but still nudity. And now I’ll probably have to be fished out of the spam bucket.)

  5. Brian, the sky through buildings in particular is superb. I’d like to know how long it took (and if they’re all legit).

    Karly, I agree. Abba’s clearly very talented. Excellent shots.

    Tim, I’d been bookmarking these for a while. When I’m clicking through my feed reader, and see something I like, I’ll bookmark it as a ‘possible blog post’. It just happens that there have been quite a few of these in circulation recently.

    Randa, it is a bit “eww,” but very imaginative.

    LCD, I’ll check your friend’s site out. Cheers.

    Swiss Mouse, looking forward to a similar cheese project from you. I’d be happy to feature it.

    Lauren, I hadn’t seen those ones. Thanks. John was publishing some great posts on Redsil. I wonder what he’ll do with it now his focus has switched.

    Off-topic, if you’ve had any previous comments caught in the spam bucket, do let me know, as I tend to check it less and less these days (currently about 5,000 spam messages in the folder).

  6. A few years back, I taught a “graphic design” class to none designers at a youth center. Our first project was a Alphabet scavenger hunt. I thought it was pretty clever at the time. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Really interesting pieces and nice to be able to have this to refer to, should I do the project with students again.

  7. inaudible, that scavenger hunt is a great idea for an introductory student project. If I ever go back to teaching I’ll keep that one in mind.

    Thanks for everyone else’s comments.

  8. Ha ha, they are brilliant. The hair is grotesque in an interesting way. Also like the people on the beach. I admire their perserverance because it looks like a cold Irish or British beach.

  9. The hairy typeface is gross, dude!
    I really like Abba’s shots, very creative. I wonder if Abba interested in creating alphabet letters from trees. That’s one hell of a global issue nowadays.

  10. I love the “The alphabet in light writing”, glowing and glowing in the dark…
    perhaps you can start another blog meme about this one…or I don’t know..anyone??? ;D

  11. Jennifer, I can picture those people on the beach, on the north coast of Ireland, or at Portobello just down the road. Fair play.

    Didik, it does look a little like something from the plug hole, but it’s pretty unique.

    Kukuh, go for it. I especially like the light-writing ‘O’ and ‘T’.

    Ken, Grace, Josh, Cruz, thanks for dropping by.

  12. Tell me about it, Michael.

    The ‘looking up’ series is fantastic. My favourite would come from either that one, or the light writing one, though it isn’t easy deciding.

  13. Loving the pics, David.

    Just to add another to the list, remembered blogging this post with some fab light graffiti lettering (and some random super-cute characters). Shame that I can’t post the piccie here and have to link to it – apologies for that!

    The photography alphabet of the sky framed by buildings is just lovely – sort of thing that makes you want to get your camera out and have a go yourself.

  14. Hi! I really love your blogs and information. I am interested in majoring in graphic design, and I was on a quest to find awesome blogs and here it is! Oh, just so you know, I’m pinging this post :)

  15. awesome, i had seen the buildings one a while back and thought it was incredibly creative. I stumbled onto your blog today, and I love it I already see a ton of interesting articles, great job, i’ll be around for sure.

  16. What amazing alphabets!!! I’ve got a free software program I’ve worked on for a few years called (it lets people make their own, using their own pics and captions) this is right up my alley. Thanks! – Jane

  17. I loved it!! awesome stuff very creative. I am doing an assignment on creative (not the ordinary) 3D typography if anyone has seen work that you recommend please tell me

  18. hi,
    i know how 2 create the drawing with light alphabet (edit shutter speed)
    but i was just wondering.
    could anybody recommend the best light source 2 recreate written pictures my self fo my photography coursework (ie. torces, lighters etc.) many thanks

  19. Abba Richman’s and the type in the sky typefaces are both very clever and creative. I also quite like the hairy one!

  20. the architectural details reminds me of an exercise from college for a typography and logo design. thanks for the nice collection

  21. My current university project is about the A-Z of Graphic Language. These alphabet pics are great and such beautifully created. Very inspirational. I blogged about it on my own website.

  22. This is so cool. On a recent trip to my uncle’s house(who has taken in a exchange student) I became familiar with the nature alphabet and started doing everyones names. I love the creativeness behind all of this work.

  23. Awesome stuff.

    I liked “the hairy Futura typeface.”

    You got some great stuff here. Need to check out your more blog often.

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