Words and Buildings


Cover of “Words and Buildings” by Jock Kinneir

Words and Buildings: the art and practice of public lettering is published in London by The Architectural Press. In his acknowledgements Jock opens with:

‘It is a pleasure to record the many people who have helped me, but I owe special thanks to John Dreyfus for his early encouragement and advice. James Mosley, too, has never stinted information. His careful scholarship has been an example, and I must couple his name with those authors whose books have been my guide; their names are recorded in the bibliography.’


  • Chapter 1: Background
    • Communication codes
    • Importance and early development of the alphabet
    • Influence of handwriting
    • Technical influences
    • Recent developments
  • Chapter 2: Criteria
    • Expressiveness
    • Legibility
    • Conspicuity
    • Letter design
    • Word design
    • Space design
  • Chapter 3: Practice
    • Flush lettering
    • Relief lettering
    • Three-dimensional lettering
    • Illuminated lettering
    • Integral lettering
    • Adjacent lettering
  • Chapter 4: ‘Mise-en-scène’
    • Remarkable lettering
  • The next chapter
  • Notes and bibliography
  • Index

Design by Jock Kinneir
Filmset and printed in Great Britain by
BAS Printers Limited, Over Wallop, Hampshire
Text set in 11 on 13pt Monophoto Plantin 110