Lettering and Expressiveness. When Characters Tell a Story

  • Francesca FattaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)


What links Thomas More to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti? And how does the creativity of video clips relate to Futurist posters? And yet there is a common thread called lettering, which is variously articulated in the expressiveness of the typographic characters of the artists.

Reflections, comparisons, narrations and experiments on alphabets are proposed, as well as the study of new characters in reference to the cultural and artistic environment in which they develop; graphic and typographic contexts are analyzed which are capable of “exploding” knowledge and imagination from the post-Renaissance utopian context to the Futurist revolution, up to the most innovative trends in the digital world.

Lettering is perhaps the most appropriate area of graphics for experimenting, thinking, inventing, narrating and playing with elementary forms. Letters represent an extreme synthesis of the meanings of nature and of geometry and suggest unusual alphabets, prompting us to invent new stories. There is a bi-planarity present in a letter of the alphabet: that of expression and that of content (signifier and meaning), but there is also an arbitrariness that does not connect, in any way, one to the other.


Unusual alphabets Lettering Graphic experiments Storytelling Wild style 



The activity presented in the paper is part of aspect dealt with in the Visual Communication and Design course and in the workshop held in December 2018 for the Master’s Degree Course in Science of Primary Education at the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria. This is an experience conducted on dynamic alphabets and expressive lettering which the author has been dealing with for over fifteen years. A research aimed at favoring a methodological approach that allows students to know how to orient themselves and to know how to choose the most appropriate methodologies to be able to conceive and narrate stories and narratives for children with different techniques and materials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Architettura & Territorio (d’ArTe)Università Mediterranea of Reggio di CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly

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