Seeing Herb Lubalin’s lovely Mother & Child logo in U & lc magazine began my obsession with ampersands. There has always been something elegant and foreign and vaguely mystical about the character. In band class, I imagined it the reverse treble clef. And in each hand-written letter from friends and relatives, I scoured their penmanship to see the nuance and personality they instilled in their own use of the ampersand. Was it the backwards 3? The pretzel? Was it rounded or squared off? Where was the baseline, the flair, the counters and eyes, the panache and bravado? What was the character of their character?
This week, I finally finished a three-year writing project that (maybe one day) will become my second novel. The working title for the piece, which is an exploration if identity as a reflection of others, is: & I. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the simplicity of the phrase and how it, alone, reflects one’s self-identity as a reflection of others. But to compete in the list of truly remarkable and memorable ampersands out there, including Mr. Lubalin’s, I realize how daunting it will be. So my obsession with the ampersand has become revitalized and I now see them everywhere I go.
I’m looking to you, dear readers, for examples of your favorite ampersands out there. Send me a comment or post a link. I’d love to see them all. In the meantime, here are some of current online finds that I enjoyed: