Levi Sherman – Frequency: An Abecedarian


© 2014
edition of 26
dimensions in inches: 4 x 13.25 x .25


About this piece:

Frequency is an abecedarian with no typographic content. Each of the 26 pages, in alphabetic order, is a representation of the relative frequency of that letter in the English language. One percent is equal to one inch in length.
Frequency: An Abecedarian arose from my letterpress practice, though the book’s content is devoid of print. Abecedarians abound in the book arts world, but I wanted to see if a predictable structure could still surprise a reader. Inspired by setting metal type, I chose to represent the frequency of letters rather than their form. My approach to art often begins with a generative constraint, and this project was the result of a few such questions. Could blank pages have meaningful content? Could an abecedarian contain no letterforms? Ultimately, the predictability of the structure enabled readers to decode the book, giving me artistic freedom to stray from the typical abecedarian and subvert the expectations set by the book’s lavish letterpress printed cover.

The book’s statistical data was taken from Wikipedia.


ink, paper, thread

About the artist:

Levi Sherman is a designer and interdisciplinary artist, currently teaching visual communication at The American Academy of Art in Chicago. He received his MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago in 2015, where he was a Print Production Fellow for the Journal of Artists’ Books and taught undergraduate bookbinding and letterpress. His BFA in Visual Communications was earned at The University of Arizona in 2012. His work is held in various collections including the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection and the Forgotten Zine Archive.

About Alicia Bailey


Levi Sherman – Frequency: An Abecedarian

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min