A is van Os

Award winning children's book about the origin of our alphabet (NL/FR)

An educational letter book

Anyone who can read knows the 26 letters of our alphabet. But where do those letters come from? How long do they exist? And who designed them? Autobahn and Bette Westera take you back to the time of our distant ancestors, who made a drawing if they wanted to 'write' something. Slowly but surely, their drawings changed into the first letters. If you look closely, you can recognise our current alphabet. 

And guess what? A is not for Apple at all, but for Ox! After reading this book you will understand how this came to be. You will also understand why, whenever we send each other emoji's, we actually do the same as our distant ancestors over 5000 years ago. An educational and special letter book for all ages!

Available in Dutch and French: Histoire de Notre Alphabet is available trough our partner Circonflexe. Expected are an English edition in fall/winter 2021 and Simplified and Extended Chinese in 2022.


A is van Os is awarded with a Golden European Design award and a certificate of Typographic Excellence by the Type Directors Club in New York. The book traveled in an exhibition through the United States, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, and others. The publication also received a nomination for a D&AD award and a Dutch Creativity Award.

Signed Dutch edition by Autobahn
Size: 24x24cm

French edition
Histoire de Notre Alphabet is available trough our partner


Concept, design text and illustrations: Autobahn
Text: Bette Westera
Research and advice: Ben Haring
Advice and production: Drukkerij Wilco
Redaction, publishing and distribution: Uitgeverij Gottmer
Animation: Jochem Koopman
Documentary: Niels Mud
Product photography: Justina Nekrašaitė / De Monsterkamer