THE ORIGIN OF THE SERIF: BRUSH WRITING AND ROMAN LETTERS by Edward M. Catich
The Catfish Press, 1968 First edition, 310 pp., 8 1/2" X 11" Hardcover
This handsomely illustrated book goes beyond a discussion of the serif. Here you will find a new approach to the history, lineage, and development of our alphabet, a detailed explanation of letter cutting in stone, the manner in which the brush differs from all other writing tools, and the role it played in the shaping of our classic Roman alphabet, with a wealth of other information pertinent to the graphic arts, including an account of the early twentieth century Chicago sign writing and its relation to Imperial Roman epigraphy. The serif is the short cross stroke at the beginning and end of letter parts. Its origin in Roman inscription letters is one of the uncharted areas of paleography. In this book the author questions accepted theories as to the serif's origin, and advances his own theory with skillful reasoning, detailed illustration, and epigraphic proof.