Power of Ampersand


Goudy saw that a surprisingly large number of readers did not know the ampersand's word or its meaning. Years later in 2010, Nancy Upper saw the same lack of ampersand savvy. She dove into ampersand history, typography, lore, and uses, and discovered two eye-openers:

  • Most people still don’t know much about ampersands.
  • The ampersand topic is vast.

Join AIGA Boston for a thrilling lesson about the ampersand. Upper’s presentation will detail the ampersand’s origins, development, anatomy, meanings, and usage. You will:

  •  Learn how the ampersand grew from scribal shortcut to global connector.
  • Understand ampersand case, gender, variants, and triads.
  • Appreciate the human needs that drive us to love ampersands.
  • Marvel at worldwide ampersand uses in fields diverse as art, business, design, education, fashion, food & beverage, literature, music, nature, poetry, science, sports, travel, and popular culture.
  • Witness the ampersand’s digital explosion.
  • See why ampersand history is a reverse evolution.
  • Gain an ampersand act you can do today to improve your life.

6:00 PM doors open for light appetizers and time to mingle
6:30-7:30 PM  Power of Ampersand presentation by Nancy Upper
7:30-8:00 PM Q&A and ampersand themed raffle

How does the ampersand take shape for you?
We've partnered with Goosefish Press to demonstrate the ampersand as a connector in many forms. Submit your hand drawn ampersand as appropriate for letterpress (100% black, no tonality or screens) to lauren(at)boston.aiga.org by August 26th to be included in a printed piece that all event attendees will receive.

September is Member Appreciation Month!
Attend this event free of cost if you're an AIGA member.

AIGA Member/AIGA Student Member: FREE
Non-Member: $22
Student Non-Member (ID required): $12
Tufts students and faculty (ID required): FREE

Speaker Bio
Like the Ampersand, Nancy Upper is a connector.

  • As a sales support rep for Adobe Inc., where Upper came to love ampersands, she connected with customers.
  • As communications writer for MIT, she connected with students, faculty, and corporate leaders.
  • As author of Ballet Dancers in Career Transition: Sixteen Success Stories (McFarland, 2004), she connected with performing artists.
  • As Boston Athenæum Ambassador, she connected with members, visitors, and guests.
  • As founder and creative director of Uppersand, her ampersand business, she connects with people around the globe.

Upper loves reaching out to people, which her successes prove.

In 2010, Upper launched international research and interviews for her
forthcoming book, Power of Ampersand. It is the:

  • First book to reveal the full story of ampersand history, typography, and
    worldwide uses.
  • First book to unite and interpret in one volume the ampersand knowledge, designs, news, lore, and voices now scattered around the world.
  • First book to open the world’s eyes to the ampersand’s global strength.

Directions and Parking
Public Transportation
The W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts is a 4 minute walk from the Museum of Fine Arts T stop on the Green Line "E" Branch.

Parking is available at an hourly rate in the Museum of Fine Arts Parking Garage. Limited, metered street parking is also available nearby at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Event Partners




Cancellation / Refund Policy: Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio, and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA Boston. AIGA Boston has adopted the AIGA Code of Conduct with regard to its activities. We reserve the right to refuse admittance for violations of this Code, or other unlawful or disruptive actions. Any concerns should be addressed to the Director of Membership or Community Outreach.

Graphic by: Caitlyn Manning

When & Where
Thu, Sep 19, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
The W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library SMFA at Tufts, 3rd Floor
230 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115