The origin of the Ampersand

Ampersand through the years

A favourite in wedding invitations to join, typographically, a bride and groom, the ampersand’s curly, friendly nature makes it an adored symbol of many a type enthusiast.

But where did it come from?

Turns out it hales from a speedy scribe or two. The ampersand is what we call a ligature (when two letters are joined as a single symbol) of E and t, forming the Latin symbol ‘et’, which means ‘and’.

Writing cursively in the 1st century, scribes started to connect the ‘e’ and the ‘t’ to save time, with one letter flowing into the other. Over time, it evolved into the modern-day symbol ‘&’.

For a symbol originally created in the 1st century, it’s aged rather well, no?

File that away for your next trivia night.

Recent posts

Follow on Instagram

Connect on LinkedIn

Sign up to our newsletter

or call +61 3 9015 4014

Level 35, 477 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

© 2021 Brand by Name™


Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter — Brand News — filled with Design tips, Creativity hacks, Brand news and Design-related goodness.

It’s short and sweet. Estimated reading time < 90 seconds…