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Massin. La lettre et l’image. Gallimard, 1970

“In 1970 Gallimard published one of Massin’s key works: La lettre et l’image, la figuration dans l’alphabet latin du VIIIe siècle à nos jours, with a preface by Raymond Queneau. The result of fifteen years of research, this extensively illustrated book reflects a passion sustained since childhood for the visual aspect of writing linked to our alphabetical system. In it, Massin shares a crucial aspect of his graphic culture and invite us to view his work in a perspective framed by the most varied and diverse sources” 

Roxane Jubert, Margo Rouard-Snowman. Massin et le livre: la typographie en jeu = Massin and books: typography at play. Paris: École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs: Archibooks, 2007 (p. 115)

La lettre et l’image (…) is an in-depth study of the relationship between culture and printed letters in the West through the centuries (…) Serious but never pedantic, this books considers four ways of animating text: lettering in its own context, lettering as symbol, calligrams and lettering in the visual arts. It is an anthology of over a thousand symbols, from Apollinaire’s calligrams to medieval illuminations, the billboards of New York’s Time Square and street graffiti- nopt to mention the many different alphabets (grotesque, erotic, architectonic, vegetal, instrumental, formed of figures, silhouettes, and so on). Discussing the Lascaux caves, Massin notes that everything began with images.”

Laetitia Wolff. Massin. London: Phaidon, 2007 (p. 116)