The word ampersand is a conflation of the phrase “and per se and”, meaning “and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and”. The ampersand can be traced back to the 1st century a.d. and the Old Roman cursive, in which the letters e and t occasionally were written together to form a ligature. In the later and more flowing New Roman Cursive, ligatures of all kinds were extremely common. However, during the following development of the Latin script that led up to the Carolingian minuscule (7th century), while the use of ligatures in general diminished, the et-ligature continued to be used and gradually became more stylized and less revealing of its origin.
The Ampersand. The Pluto of the Alphabet. Once recognized as the 27th letter of the English Alphabet, it’s downgrade happened at the turn of the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, the ampersand can reinvent itself. Taking it’s likeness from the London Olympic Rings, The Olympian fits right in with modern san serif font faces and especially well with the geometric faces. Phone Home travels back to the ligatures origin profoundly displaying the et. The Spotlight takes it’s name from it’s form when flipped vertically. Edgy and stylized, The Spotlight form makes it seem almost 3d.