With literacy comes word art. Or maybe word art came before literacy -- the two are closely entwined. Decorative letters can be used for all sorts of purposes -- spelling out names of businesses, identifying a residence for the mail delivery person, or even just sounding your "barbaric yawp" to the world. Before general literacy, written words seemed to be magic -- an idea that many charlatans cashed in on, no doubt. Indeed, alphabets such as Ogham script were reserved for the priestly orders and taught in secrecy. There was an understanding that when you write something down, you create a permanence of idea. Large decorative letter blocks can reinforce that feeling of permanence and display your message in bold.
One of the best uses of decorative letters has been to display business names. Whether the letters are three dimensional or painted onto a door, they make it easy for passersby to identify the establishment or perhaps to even locate a type of business that suits their needs.
Sense of Place
Perhaps one of the most famous uses of letters is the word “Hollywood” as it stands, picked out in lights, over that famous neighborhood. While that is an extraordinary use of letter art, it’s no less visible when it’s displayed in form of a home spelling out “The Smiths” or some other name. A prominently displayed name easily identifies your location for mail delivery or for emergency services, as well as for guests.
Perhaps one of the most recent uses of word art is to deliver a message to the world. Those messages can range from “Jesus Saves” to “Writer at work: Interrupt at your own risk.” Some messages are more direct, and leave one wondering about the intent of the person, while others proclaim a willingness to embrace the world with happiness. But in each and every case, words make the meaning clearer than pictures.
Letters for Your Message
You can use letters to transmit your message. They can be large or small; rustic and distressed, or modern and shiny. Whatever it is that you wish to say, there is a set of letters “out there” that you can use to create your words. Below are several examples.