#26 Reading Writing & Arithmetic


#26 Reading Writing & Arithmetic
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It seems today the 3 R’s should be replaced with the 3 C’s: 

Com­put­ers, Cal­cu­la­tors & Cellphones.

Ide­al­ly, it would be the 3 R’s + the 5 C’s. Take the big yel­low school­bus  OVER HERE  to read about that.

But what­ev­er the phrase is, there’s an amper­sand in it. The sym­bol in this edi­tion resem­bles a plus sign (for arith­metic of course) but I have a feel­ing it is still an amper­sand in abbre­vi­at­ed form. Here is an illus­tra­tion of my theory:

Start­ing with the typ­i­cal scrib­bled amper­sand, left, and evolv­ing through the “scrip­ti­er” ver­sion next to it  (which is the basis for sev­er­al amper­sands in script fonts) to the next two casu­al amper­sands in the mid­dle (which could dou­ble as plus signs) to the final mark which is a true plus sign — still mean­ing “et” or “and” — you see how I fig­ure the evolution.

Anoth­er the­o­ry, though forced and most like­ly incor­rect, is the clip­ping of the small area where the lines form a plus. This is only part of the “t” and does not include the “e” in the for­ma­tion of a true amper­sand, which is the lig­a­ture “et” mean­ing “and” in Latin:

Now to destroy my the­o­ry, the plus sign is called just that: “plus” which means “more” in Latin. So is it real­ly a hasti­ly scrib­bled ver­sion of the amper­sand or not? I have no choice but to stick to my own the­o­ry (fac­tor­ing in artis­tic license) so I may dis­play the plus sign as an amper­sand and issue this lat­est Amper­Art editon.


listen up!My first clue, in first grade

It was in first grade that I became wary of the school sys­tem. Or any author­i­ty at all.

Before I even start­ed kinder­garten I was enthralled with type. I remem­ber my dad point­ing out numer­als to me in books, and their shapes were embed­ded in my mind. I espe­cial­ly remem­ber the num­ber 4 because of my first warn­ing of “the system”:

In first grade we were prac­tic­ing writ­ing numer­als. Even as a kid I tried emu­lat­ing how things were done pro­fes­sion­al­ly, so I drew the num­ber 4 as I had seen on many print­ed pages, the top strokes meet­ing at an apex like this:

The next thing I knew, the crag­gy old teacher drew an X over my effort, stat­ing I did not draw the num­ber as instructed.

 

 Miss H —  — - (no won­der she was “Miss” — who would want to mar­ry her?) said I must draw the fig­ure accord­ing to the rules, like this:

or 

(I don’t remem­ber which and I don’t care — prob­a­bly the first.)

From that point on I was wary of all teach­ing, instruc­tions, opin­ions and espe­cial­ly rules and reg­u­la­tions. If I had “fol­lowed orders” and done what all the oth­er stu­dents were doing (which of course earned them straight A’s) I just might be wait­ing tables or mop­ping floors instead of design­ing cor­po­rate logos and best­selling books.

I have since always weighed what I heard and read, ran it through my own analy­sis, and thought inde­pen­dent­ly of the masses. 

Do I believe in rules? Yes. They are for those who won’t think intel­li­gent­ly for them­selves. I just wish there were less rules and more intel­li­gent people.


Pro­duc­tion notes for #26 Reading Writing & Arithmetic:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: Illustrator
Font: Century Schoolbook
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