Ode to the Letter 'K' (Krazy About K)

Design author Phil Patton praises the rarity of the letter K in this article in AIGA's journal. Below are some excerpts...

K is part of OK, that great American phrase, as essential as Uncle Sam or the bald eagle.

[George] Eastman invented the word ‘Kodak’ with the ambition of making it part of the language. He wanted a registered global trademark, so, according to official company history, “Eastman invented it out of thin air.” “I devised the name myself,” Eastman explained. “The letter ‘K’ had been a favorite with me—it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. [...] Eastman also wanted it to be recognizable and pronounceable around the world. And the ‘K’ in Kodak seemed friendly, almost as kidlike as Palmer Cox’s Brownies, the children’s book characters that Eastman used to promote his cameras.

After Kodak, K became a powerful player in the world of commercial names. It came to imply technology, speed and modernity.

What would Yiddish be without the K, ever-important for its humorous, Germanic undertones? Think kvetch, kitsch, knish, kibbitz. That student of Borscht belt humor, Neil Simon addressed the comic appeal of K in The Sunshine Boys. As his comedian character Willy explains, “Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know what words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka Seltzer is funny. You say ‘Alka Seltzer,’ you get a laugh . . . Words with ‘k’ in them are funny.”

I got a total kick out of this article! I had never thought much of the awkward and uncommon letter that was the very first I ever wrote, whilst learning to write my name. K-A-T-E .. now it takes on a new and kind of special importance.


  1. lev don and co. would appreciate it if you would not make any video and photos of what went down at karma last weekend. no disrespect, but if you were there, we hope you would understand the mindset behind our actions. if you have any questions of who i'm speaking of, talk to miss huhn.
    <3 thank you

  2. i have no idea why my name is there.
    so if you do have questions about who they are speaking of, i cannot answer them.
    i actually have no idea about anything that happened at all bc i had to be reminded the next day that there even was a fight. weird.