Our favorite ligature, the ampersand, seems to be somewhat of a designer’s obsession. In a recent and witty example, my designer friend Ross Milne and his lovely fiancé Grace are metaphorically joined by the metaphoric symbol in their recent wedding announcement (pictured above). There are blogs devoted to the ampersand, agencies represented by it, companies named after it, and odes to it. You can buy ampersand paperweights, t-shirts and tote bags. In fact, they seem to pop up everywhere. There are countless variations of this stylish symbol — and you can find 300 & 65 of them here.
In case you’re wondering how the ampersand got its name, it helps to know a little Latin. The symbol is a ligature of the letters e and t to form the word “et” (meaning “and” in Latin).
The verbal description of this symbol one could say: “&” per se “and” (“&” by itself “and”). And per se and. And perseand. Andpersand. Say it fast enough and you start to hear the more familiar “ampersand.”