The letter A


The letter A is the first letter of most modern alphabets, and in English is the third most commonly used letter (after E and T). Our modern A evolved from the pictogram of an ox which became the Phoenician letter aleph which became the Greek alpha. A represents many things: a musical note, number one, first rate, top service, the first and best. In typography the lower case a can be drawn in the open form or the closed form. Most typefaces use the open a, but some, such as Futura, Lubalin Graph and Stone Informal, use the closed a. Many typefaces retain the open form across all the weights (Helvetica, Gotham), but many others, including Garamond, Minion, Sabon, Gill Sans and Lucida, to name but a few, use the open form in the roman weights and the closed form in the italic.