Before the days of structured alphabets, early man used simple stone carvings to portray images and signs to represent the sounds they made to communicate with each other.

Similar drawings, later developed by the Phoenicians around 1200BC, were called “Pictographs” or “Pictograms” and consisted of the things around them, such as people, animals, tools and water.

The symbols, on the right, show the evolution of the Pictogram for “Ox” into the Phoenician “alf” or “aleph” and later into the Greek “alpha”.

The formation of our word “alphabet” comes from a hybrid of the Greek “alpha” and “beta”, whose origin was found in the early pictogram for house.

Symbol for Ox

Early symbol for "ox"

Symbol for aleph

Phoenician "aleph"

symbol for alpha

Greek “alpha”

This symbol has evolved with the Books Abroad logo as it did with the Phoenicians and the Greeks. In the most recent redesign we didn’t want to venture too far from the original logo as it has a strong visual identity which has been associated with Books Abroad for years.

That being said, it was felt a little more ‘character’ and ‘personality’ could make the logo more memorable and appealing to a variety of groups. With that, ‘Alphie’ was born.

The font needed to convey the grounded, practical and ‘no-frills’ approach seen at Books Abroad in order to ‘get things done’, and at the same time include a human touch representing the volunteers and their dedication and passion for the charity.

Alphie Books Abroad

With this in mind we have chosen a font, which took its origins from both “old style” and “humanist” typefaces, referencing original pen formed fonts with the slightly less structured form of more modern fonts. Finally it was decided to create a subtle box around the logo to frame it nicely and allow for more ease to the reproduction and overall use of the logo. Our “Alphie” symbol isn’t fully confined to the box, however, nodding towards our ability and eagerness to “think outside the box”, making the best use of resources, as we continually strive to find better means of delivery.

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Books Abroad
Unit 1, Richmond Avenue Industrial Estate,
Scotland  AB54 4HJ
SCIO Registration Books Abroad SC011359. Copyright © 2015 Books Abroad