Øyvin Rannem

The Letters in History

Letters surrounds us all the time. But there are not many who know their story or background. In The Letters in History typographer Øyvin Rannem teaches us about writing and letters in West Europe, which extends for more than 2000 years, from antiquity to fascism.

Why do letters look like they do? What is their origin? And why was it the Latin letters that became the ones left standing and not the Greek?
In the background there’s politics and power struggle, Rome against Constantinople, east against west – north against south, Christianity against paganism.

For the first time the development and history of letters is put into a historical context – against the development of society and culture in Europe.
A truly remarkable book – which inspires and teaches you everything you didn’t think you needed to know about letters.

You will never read or write in the same way after reading this book.
Øyvin Rannem’s The Letters in History is a Norwegian nonfiction book of international format.

Bjørn Gabrielsen, Dagens Næringsliv

A brilliant book


The relationship between power and typography is a complex and exciting story.

Le Monde diplomatic

The subject area is displayed in an exemplary way by economizing the use of means. The Trajan font on the cover emphasizes the book's theme. The material is educationally organized in an elegant and readable manner. The book has the potential to reach a wide culturally interested audience."

The Jury at Grafill - best designed book 2017

Øyvin Rannem

Øyvin 2[gullien] bw

Øyvin Rannem is typographer and former Assistant Professor at Buskerud University College. He has for years been engaged in analytic work with new technology within the graphic industry. He’s earlier written two academic books on typography and history of fonts.

Foreign rights

Thomas Mala
[email protected]
+47 46 67 61 55


Winner of best designed nonfiction adult title in Norway 2017.


Edited May 24, 2018 by Northern Stories