One Hundred Ampersands

I thought I’d take a moment today to introduce the multi-talented Bernardo Margulis and his project One Hundred Ampersands. I should probably start by saying that in addition to being a friend, colleague and frequent collaborator, Bernardo played an instrumental role in my joining NAPOLEON in its inaugural year, for which I am continually grateful.

Bernardo is a visual communicator, with a focus on graphic & print design and a passion for typography and hand-lettering. These passions are synthesized in this project, based on a symbol close to both our hearts: the ampersand. I feel this little ligature is experiencing a bit of a renaissance at present, increasingly appearing not only in traditional typographic roles in signage, but also on t-shirts, as bookends, and in several clever items on Etsy. In short, it’s becoming a celebrity logogram.

The ampersand is a logographic conjunction of the Latin word et, meaning and. The name ampersand comes from and per se and, how the symbol was expressed in its role at the end of the alphabet. Over time the words ran together, merging to form one name just as the letters e and t joined up to form the symbol now familiar to one and all.

For One Hundred Ampersands, Bernardo has set himself the task of illustrating one hundred such symbols over the course of one year – each one inspired by and presented to a specific person, who in turn has in some way inspired Bernardo’s creative practice or perspective in life. Many of these recipients have responded with a photograph of their ampersand in situ, at home or in their workplace. Bernardo is also incorporating guest posts, which will include the found, the funny, and the forgotten.

The site will continue evolving as Bernardo hands out the ands. Check it out.

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