ABC A SIMPLE ENGLISH LESSON | BRUNO MUNARISeshat publishing
Bruno Munari (1907-1998) was an influential, multidisciplinary figure: a graphic designer, an industrial designer, a sculptor, a furniture designer, a toy designer, a teacher and a writer. His contribution to shaping the essence of Italian design in the 20th century was tremendous.
The book, subtitled “A Simple English Lesson,” was written and illustrated in 1960.
Munari’s subtitle may falsely hint that this is “just another” book to learn the ABCs, but from the letter A and its accompanying illustration, we instantly learn that this book shares nothing with the banality of simply learning the alphabet.
Playfulness, whimsical sentences and originality are key words to describe this brilliant book.
The illustrations are full of delicacy and nuance. Never “perfect,” the images display a strong personal touch that sets them apart from the artifice of much of contemporary, commercial illustration.
The design of the ABC letters are a singular contribution in their own right to the world of graphic design and fonts that even decades after their creation are unusually beautiful.
Originally written in English, Seshat Publishing House decided to create two versions of the book: trilingual – English, Hebrew and Arabic (for Israel), and a version in English and Arabic (for the Arab world).
It seems this is the first time that children in Israel can learn the ABC letters alongside a translation of the original text that gives equal space to both languages.
We believe that the presence of Arabic alongside Hebrew can help reduce alienation and create social intimacy.
illustrations of Beatrice Alemagna, known for her award winning book “What is a Child”.