Øyvin Rannem
Letters in History

Letters surround us all the time. But there are not many who know their story or background. In Letters in History, typographer Øyvin Rannem shows us the West European culture of writing and letters, reaching back for more than 2000 years from antiquity to fascism.

Why do letters look like they do? What is their origin? And why was it Latin letters that won and not Greek? In the background there is politics and power struggles, Rome against Constantinople, east against west, north against south, and Christianity against paganism.

For the first time the development and history of letters is put into a historical context with the development of society and culture in Europe as its backdrop.
A truly remarkable book that inspires and teaches you everything you didn’t think you needed to know about letters. A perfect companion on a trip to Rome.

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 Rannem

Øyvin Rannem is a typographer and former Assistant Professor at Buskerud University College. He has been engaged in analytical work with new technology in the graphic industry for many years. He has earlier written two academic books on typography and the 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 August 30, 2019 by Northern Stories