Ewan Clayton

Ewan Clayton is Professor in Design at the University of Sunderland and co-director of the International Research Centre for Calligraphy. For a number of years he was a consultant for Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) where he worked within a research group that focused on documents and contemporary communications. He is an award-winning calligrapher and has exhibited and taught calligraphy in many parts of the world. In 2014, he was awarded an MBE for services to calligraphy and heritage crafts.



Ewan Clayton has written a rich and highly accessible history of why we write as we do, and his timing is superb. To think we may lose all this is heartbreaking.Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type

Whether his topic is Roman inscriptions, the bookkeeping traditions of the East India Company, the first admission of handwriting as evidence in a court of law, the pitfalls of the paperless office, or the experience of copying sacred texts, Clayton writes with ingenuous charm and contagious enthusiasm, often illustrating his points with "calligraphic studies" of his own.
The Paris Review

Clayton's book is punctuated with illuminating details. At every turn he brings history alive by personifying it... His book is an ideal place from which to begin an exploration of that most sophisticated of technologies - writing.Jane Shilling
Daily Telegraph

A fascinating account of the changes and continuities in our use of the alphabet, from its origins in ancient Egypt through to blogs and social networks.
Financial Times

Fabulous... Clayton punctuates his history with wonderful anecdotesStuart Kelly

A book no bibliophile should miss
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review