Why is SEPTEMBER 8 National Ampersand Day?

National Ampersand Day logo

“Can we spell it with ampersands?”

Probably no other holiday or observance day’s date has been determined with the particular criteria as National Ampersand Day. That criteria, quite simply, was “Can we spell it with ampersands?”

The word “SEPTEMBER” and the numeral “8” were selected specifically because, using a certain typestyle for each ampersand, you can “spell out” the date with ampersands, as shown here, wherein each ampersand resembles the character it stands in for. 

Ampersand Day logotype


The ampersands here are used much the same as pictographs or hieroglyphics, which simply means “recognizable pictures of the things represented.” This has rendered a unique, visually descriptive logotype, spelling out of the designated date of National Ampersand Day. (The official National Ampersand Day logo, which is circular, is shown a few paragraphs down.)

For you typophiles, here are the fonts & families used in the September 8 logotype:


Ampersand Day font callouts


Aside from three characters, each ampersand in a specific font resembles a letter and the number. Just a glance tells you it says “September.” The “8” might take a moment or two. Only the P, M & R don’t fit in. But if one of you sharp-witted ampersand fans has a suitable idea for any of those letters, drop it in the suggestion box

While we’re at it—for you extreme typophiles & amperfans—here are the font families used in the official National Ampersand Day logo:

National Ampersand Day logolarge ampersand: Garamond (Monotype), modified
“national ampersand day”: Garamond (Adobe)
“fun fabulous functional”: Helvetica
ampersand following fun: Caslon 540
ampersand following fabulous: Vivaldi
ampersand following functional: Baskerville


♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Wish someone special a
on September 8

Happy Ampersand Birthday

Do you know a Birthday Boy or a Birthday Girl whose special day falls on National Ampersand Day, September 8?

Send them this link to their own Birthday Page featuring the stylish greeting you see above:



♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


More about the ampersand

Did You Know…

& The ampersand used to be the last letter of the alphabet?

&  The ampersand is a ligature of “e” & “t”? That’s et in Latin, meaning “and.”

&  The word “ampersand” is a slurring of “real words” run together over time?

&  The plus sign is actually an ampersand?

Read about these & other fun facts here.



Applaud the Ampersand

Celebrate National Ampersand Day by having fun with it:

&  Use lots & lots of ampersands!

&  Substitute “&” for “and” in everything you write.

&  Think of syllable replacements such as &roid, c&elabra, b&.

&  Send friends whose names contain “and” a special note — &y, &rea, Alex&er, Gr&ma.

&  Design new styles of ampersands. (Remember, the ampersand represents the letters “et.”)

&  Use #AmpersandDay & #AmperArt on social media.

&  Tell your friends to visit AmperArt.com.

&  Send anyone whose birthday is September 8 this Happy Birthday link: 


Subscribe to AmperArt here & now!

Receive a fun & fabulous & absolutely free ampersand art print download, suitable for gallery-quality printing & framing, each & every month! There’s always a story behind the artwork & a colophon of production notes, fonts & credits.



#1 Art & Design

#1 Art & Design

#1 Art & Design
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This is the piece that launched AmperArt: #1 Art & Design.

It was created as a postcard concept to showcase my graphic design talent — specifically concept, layout, lettering, typography & execution — to agencies & marketing departments.

AmperArt Issues

I never did commence that postcard campaign, but did post the first few designs on an early blog.* After receiving a lot of positive comments I realized there are a lot of ampersand fans out there (I call them amperfans) so decided to create more of these layouts, each featuring “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art,” as the slogan now professes. After more exhuberant response, I created a website dedicated just to the ampersand, AmperArt.com, vowing to create & release one AmperArt design per month. I keep all the original artwork safely in a “digital vault” so it can be reproduced at its original size, usually 20″ x 30″, should anyone ever ask for a large giclee to hang on their wall, or if I ever get the crazy urge to exhibit the AmperArt collection in a gallery. For now, though, each creation is formatted into an 11″ x 17″ poster, issued free with each release. The files are high resolution, suitable for gallery-quality printing. Here are some printing & framing ideas.

Concept for #1 Art & Design

The idea behind #1 Art & Design is to represent the fundamental shapes & colors in art: “art” is spelled with circles, triangles & squares (actually a cropped rectangle and a 4-sided trapezoid for added interest). The colors are primaries and secondaries, with neutrals for the type and background. The word “design” is simply what I do best in the world of design: set type. I chose Helvetica, as it is not only been the most common sans-serif family for decades, it is truly beautiful in its simplicity and modern structure, especially in the hands of a professional typographer (no example of that here except in darn good kerning). Complementing Helvetica is another modern typestyle of the serif variety, Century Schoolbook. Why are the shapes not given a dimensional shadow effect (which would seem to be a given)? Because the ampersand is the star of the show!

AmperArt: shorten that name

AmperArt started as “Ordinary Phrases & Ampersands Extraordinaire” — in short, common phrases with an ampersand in the middle. That will be the format I follow for my monthly series, to be rendered & issued until I can no longer push a pencil or paint a pixel. Kind of a long url, don’t you think? So I came up with AmperArt. (AmpArt is shorter and cooler but it sounds like an inked up sound system; plus I think it was taken.)

I have also created a few other pieces which are not phrases, such as Ampermations (shown here). Eventually I may design a line of greeting cards (featuring the ampersand, of course), apparel (probably just T-shirts), jewelry, & create objets d’ amperart for sale on the website & perhaps in gift shops. I’d like to promote other artists & designers, too — as long as their work contains an ampersand.

But for now, AmperArt is just a free monthly dose of “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.” I hope you resonate with one of these pieces every so often, whether in topic, style, color, or story. Or maybe you’ll enjoy every single one, simply because you’re a fun & fabulous “amperfan.”

*Art & Design is not my actual first concept leading up to AmperArt; that was Sunny & Hot, published June 23, 2011 on my personal blog (defunct) before I turned the concept of “featuring the ampersand as fun & fabulous art” into a series. It was followed by Black & White (the basis of most visual ideas), then Red White & Blue (for Independence Day). Art & Design was then created as a “title piece” to introduce the new ongoing project called AmperArt & its website, AmperArt.com. I renumbered the first several works for logistics reasons. Art & Design was actually the third or fourth design I created in the series. My first creation, Sunny & Hot, was inspired by a very hot day in the beginning of summer way back in 2011. It is assigned #6 in the series.

National Ampersand Day


After submitting a request to NationalDayCalendar.com, I am proud to announce Ampersand Day is official. At my suggestion, it is observed on September 8 of each year. I chose that date because most of the letters and number can be twisted (with a bit of creative license) into an ampersand. Here’s a list of ideas how you can celebrate National Ampersand Day. Let me know if you can think of others.

chaz sez ...

I think I’ll have to send out those AmperArt postcards as originally intended, to market my talent to the agencies and corporations which recognize and hire the work of a professional designer. Lately I’ve been finding it more difficult to find work over the Internet, especially through the creative agencies such as Elance and Upwork.

The computer is a boon in the creative realm: no more inky logos; no more waiting for veloxes and stats; the ability to kern my own typography; direct-to-press efficiency; and free, instantaneous delivery of artwork over the Internet instead of expensive courier services.

On the other hand, where it seemed magical to cater to clients half way around the world in real time (even if it meant setting the alarm clock for 3 a.m.) the Internet is now inviting competition from third-world countries. I am now competing with “designers” whose work is sub-par and whose rates are as low as $1 per hour. No exaggeration. The worst part is that the clients that hire these amateurs don’t know any difference; the price is so attractive they don’t realize it’s hurting their brand’s image and credibility.

Most of my proposal writing these days is spent demonstrating the difference between mediocre and acceptable design (let alone stellar design) and trying to convey the value of perceived quality, whether on a concious or subconcious level. Here’s a compilation of horrendous logos produced by one of the “professional design firms” on these online “creative” agencies.

Off to buy some postage stamps…

Production notes for #1 Art & Design:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Helvetica, Century Schoolbook
Ampersand: Century Schoolbook

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!