Did Seb Lester design essentially the most sophisticated S ever?

A new limited edition print from the type artist shows an S with ancient and modern symbols that covers everything from emoji to cave paintings

Lester describes the piece as "arguably the most complicated letter form ever drawn" and explains that it was shaped by a career in which he studied incredibly detailed handwriting.

It's a contemporary take on the lit letters that would have graced old manuscript pages, except that they are filled with hundreds of symbols – many of which will be recognizable to modern designers. If you look closely, you can spot relatively new inventions like the smiley face and the Xbox logo, as well as more complex designs that draw on more historical sources.

"The piece contains symbols and patterns that represent the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance through to modern symbols, logos and emoji," writes Lester, who worked as a type designer at Monotype for several years before settling on his work as a calligraphy artist.

Beautiful Asian and Islamic ornaments also play a prominent role, so this is a truly international affair.

S is available in a limited rose gold edition of 150 at a price of £ 85. seblester.com