You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderful

These incredible pictorial alphabet designs look like artistic madness, but they were actually used historically as mnemonic devices to help people memorize their letters. If you are a font fiend, or simply love weird imagery, you must check out these demented illustrations of the ABCs.

A Human Alphabet, by Jo. Theodor and Jo. Israel De Bry in Frankfurt, 1596

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Amazon)

The Comical Hotch Potch, or The Alphabet turn'd Posture-Master, 1782

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via A Wild Slim Alien)

The Man of Letters or Pierrot's Alphabet (1794)

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Giovanni Garcia-Fenech)

Alfabeto Pittorico, by Antonio Basoli, 1839

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

(via LiveInternet)

An ornamental Italian alphabet, 1839

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Just Something I Made)

A Was An Archer, or a New Amusing Alphabet for Children, 1844


You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS
You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS
You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS
You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Ptak Science Books)

Occupational Alphabet, c. 1850

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Ptak Science Books)

The Royal Picture Alphabet, 1854

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via OpenLibrary)

The Funny Alphabet, 1850s

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Internet Archive)

The Landscape Alphabet, printed by Charles Joseph Hullmandel, made between 1818 and 1860

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS

(via British Museum)

Kantner's Illustrated Book of Objects and Self-Educator in German and English, 1879

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Longstreet)

Baseball ABC, c. 1885

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulSYou've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Library of Congress)

A Fashionable Melange of English Words (Ryūkō eigo zukushi), a Japanese woodcut by Kamekichi Tsunajima, 1887

You've never seen the ABCs look this bizarre and wonderfulS(via Public Domain Review)