This Is Me, Full Stop – a visual tale of 12 punctuation marks

By Mark Sinclair

Written by Here Design’s Philip Cowell and designed by the studio’s co-founder Caz Hildebrand, This Is Me, Full Stop gives voice to 12 everyday punctuation marks and has them explain the jobs they do in helping us to communicate.

Alongside the writing, the marks are used illustratively across most of the pages, while at other times they form the basis for a range of patterns and designs using a wide variety of typefaces (these are listed at the end of the book).

Despite its sparse text, the book also manages to cover a bit of grammatical history, too: from the Ancient Greeks’ aobve-the-line use of the full stop, for example, to the theory that it was a monk who designed the first question mark after copying the shape of a cat’s tail.

This Is Me will appeal to fans of typography and also those who take pleasure in the structural system behind our written language, even the potential characteristics of punctuation. For example, the exclamation mark is nicely referred to as “the selfie of grammar”, while of the semicolon – and its positioning both above and below the line – Cowell writes:

I live in disguise though am always there;
I am half of earth, half of air.

This Is Me, Full Stop is a fun celebration of how a handful of little marks have been helping us to communicate with each other for hundreds of years – and a reminder that each one is a beguiling piece of design in its own right.

This Is Me, Full Stop by Philip Cowell and Caz Hildebrand is published by Particular Books (£14.99). See penguin.co.uk

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