I've always had a thing for &'s. They're just so friendly and useful. Beyond their convenience, I think they hold things together with incredible style. Plus they're a happy graphic that suggests a lot of things in a very Rorschach way. I see an anchor, a think-outside-the-box 8, a commemorative ribbon and a big-breasted, happy robin for starters. Simon Garfield devotes an entire chapter to &s in his brilliant book on fonts, Just My Type, and writes: "Much of what one needs to know about the history and beauty of a font may be found in its ampersand. Done well, an & is not so much a character as a creative, an animal from the deep."
Walking up Madison Avenue I saw this jaunty needlepoint & pillow waving its tail at me from the window of the quirky home furnishings store, Jonathan Adler. It was holding together Mr. & Mrs. and got me to thinking about how much I loved &s. I thought about using this blog to declare National Ampersand Day. Then I found out there actually was a National Ampersand Day, designated by artist Chaz DeSimone. He loves the & so much he has also created over 100 & art posters. Very nice. But the crazy thing was the day he chose for National Ampersand Day was September 8, the exact same day I was thinking of it! He picked it because a lot of the letters in September 8 can be turned into &s!
So if you have a very special & in your life, make sure to send it flowers or say thank you. It's not too late.