Letter D

NOTE This page needs updating

Doggerel: Dancing dinosaurs drink drippy dandelion dew defying demonic dogs

Media: Drypoint, drawing

Style: Dada?, demonic, dancing

Assessment of the spread so far

This image developed pretty much directly from my initial brainstorming and sketches. The letter D for me suggested dogs and dinosaurs (of different types and shapes), dancing dark shadows and defence/demons/dragons. Possibly ducks. The colour range for this image was limited to dandelion and denhim. This limited my choice, but also I think leads to a more unified effect – and made me experiment a lot with what I had.

I like the use of letter forms on the lefthand page to reflect these images. I also like the dancing images at the back – the suggestion of a curled dogs ear in the background top left. But I could play around more and make things a bit more balanced – or defensive/dualistic.

I really like the overall sunny/shadow dancing effect of the image page and the underlying surrealist concept.  I discovered new effects that could be produced just by scratching into drypoint plates and scanning them and photographing light and shadow on my slightly old and yellowed drypoint cards. Without printing anything. This continued a new area of exploration that I also tried with other letters – like velvet and metallic paper.

But the image needs a lot of sorting out still to harmonise the shadow dancing dinosaurs in the background. I want to emphasise more the dualistic/double effect. And the image somehow got squished. I probably need to work with both image and text together in Photoshop instead of importing the image first into InDesign, then putting text on top.


Brainstorm sketch

I had real fun with the many possible images I could produce with the D shapes -from squares, rectangles and Greek triangles to near circles for the capital letters, then curly ducks with straight or curvy counters, and serif heads in different directions for the lower case.


The most interesting were dogs, donkeys, dinosaurs and ducks of different shapes and sizes, with different expressions. So I elaborated more on these sketches on the A2 sheet itself.

At the same time ideas were developing for the doggerel – various permutations of: Demonic/dragon dogs dodge dancing/drunken dinosaurs drinking drippy dandelion dew

Media and materials: drypoint, digital, drill, dremel.

Style: Divisionist, dada, dark, dancing, dangerous, dead, damp.

First colour mockup


The colour range for this image was limited to dandelion and denhim. Although later this became more interesting in Photoshop,  my initial colour mockup in Procreate was quite boring and difficult to make interesting.


I had intended to use the normal drypoint technique for this image, printing with ink. With the transparent acetate all my dog and triangle dinosaur sketches could be easily traced on the reverse. And I had experimented using dremels and drills on acetate and other surfaces from my OCA Printmaking course. (See ). The dancing dinosaurs could be drawn and then etched on the more easily scratched drypoint card.

For more on my work with drypoint and etched relief prints from OCA printmaking see:



But when I started I did not realise that the acetate drypoint plates had a protective film. As I scratched into it it started to make very interesting textures around the line – like stitching and drips. There were also very interesting shadows as the sun shone through the window onto the yellowing plates.

So, as I was also thinking about  compositing digitally, I thought I would see first what I could make of the images produced just by scratching, photographing and scanning before staining the plates with ink. In the end I liked these images and did not use ink.

Final image

This image still needs a lot of sorting out in Photoshop to get the blending, shadows and glows do what I want.





Adobe Typefaces

History and development of the letterform

Edited and extended from Letter D Wikipedia

D (named dee /ˈd/) is the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.


The Semitic letter Dāleth may have developed from the logogram for a fish or a door. There are various Egyptian hieroglyphs that might have inspired this. In Semitic, Ancient Greek and Latin, the letter represented /d/; in the Etruscan alphabet the letter was superfluous but still retained (see letter B). The equivalent Greek letter is Delta, Δ.

Egyptian hieroglyph
PhoenicianD-01.png Delta uc lc.svg EtruscanD-01.svg Roman D
  •  : Semitic letter Dalet, from which the following symbols originally derive
  • Δ δ : Greek letter Delta, from which the following symbols originally derive
    • Ⲇ ⲇ : Coptic letter Delta
    • Д д : Cyrillic letter De
    •  : Old Italic D, the ancestor of modern Latin D
      •  : Runic letter dagaz, which is possibly a descendent of Old Italic D
      • Runic letter thurisaz, another possible descendent of Old Italic D
    •  : Gothic letter daaz, which derives from Greek Delta

The minuscule (lower-case) form of ‘d’ consists of a loop and a tall vertical stroke. It developed by gradual variations on the majuscule (capital) form. In handwriting, it was common to start the arc to the left of the vertical stroke, resulting in a serif at the top of the arc. This serif was extended while the rest of the letter was reduced, resulting in an angled stroke and loop. The angled stroke slowly developed into a vertical stroke.

Other uses

The Roman numeral represents the number 500.[3]

Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations

Other representations

NATO phonetic Morse code
Delta –··
ICS Delta.svg Semaphore Delta.svg ⠙
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter ‘d’ is indicated by signing with the right hand held with the index and thumb extended and slightly curved, and the tip of the thumb and finger held against the extended index of the left hand.

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