What is this symbol called? And what is a letterpress solution for using it (or not using it) to list e-mail addresses in a form?


Log in to reply   9 replies so far

Its a at sign, if you are using hand type you can buy handy boxes of things like this, Quaker City Type is where i bought many of my handy boxes from. Good Luck Dick G.

I also like M&H Type Foundry. I got handy set with tons of different sizes.

Not to be pedantic, but the name of the “@” character in English is “commercial at”, not just “at”.

Carry on.


John Barrett at Letterpress Things in Chicopee MA carries them also if you are in the area.


Paper Stone Printing
Steve Nartowicz
P.O. Box 137
Chesterfield MA 01012


In the newspaper business, particularly among copy editors, we referred to this symbol as the “wrapped A.”

Maybe the French call it ‘arobase’, but the official spelling is ‘arrobe’ or ‘arobe’, which entered the French language around 1500 from Spain. It comes from the Arab, ‘ar-roub’, meaning ‘a quarter’.
In Spain it is the equivalent of 12–15 kg, or 10-16 litres.
Nothing to do with ‘amphoras’.
It is said to be the quarter of the weight, that a donkey could carry.


@ = “at” (commercial or otherwise)

“At symbols” are not part of a font, but come in all common sizes, are cast as sorts and were supplied from the foundry packaged in a “handy box”.

Same with parens “()”, bullets and other ‘special characters’ that are not caps, lower case or figures (“figures’ include common punctuation marks)

We just call it “the at symbol” and know we what [email protected] means… ;)

- Alan
[email protected]

that’s my user name “at” my domain name…