The letter ‘R’
Referred to as the canine letter because in Latin it was sometimes trilled to sound like a dog growling, the letter ‘R’ most likely comes from the Egyptian hieroglyph for ro, a pictogram of the human head. This symbol was greatly simplified by the ancient Semitic language to look like a person in profile before being adopted by the Phoenecians who transformed it into something resembling the modern letter P. The Etruscans were the ones to add an extra stroke (to distinguish it from ‘P’), but it was the Romans that elongated the second leg to bring it down to the baseline. Today it’s the only letter which has a closed uppercase and an open lowercase, and is the eighth most common letter in the English language.
Type designer Weinzierl specialises in creating bespoke typefaces for Monotype’s commercial clients, creating fonts for the likes of Microsoft, Google and Barnes & Noble. Particularly impressive are his custom fonts for Domino’s Pizza (with art directions for CP+B), which have a distinctly retro feel inspired by 19th century condensed gothic sans serif typefaces. This project, with its layered letterforms and striped shadowing, was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Typeface Design from the Type Directors Club.