Allograph prototype approaches for writer identification have been gaining popularity recently due to its simplicity and promising identification rates. Character prototypes that are used as allographs produce a consistent set of templates that models the handwriting styles of writers, thereby allowing high accuracies to be attained. We hypothesize that the alphabet knowledge inherent in such character prototypes can provide additional writer information pertaining to their styles of writing and their identities. This paper utilizes a character prototype approach to establish evidence that knowledge of the alphabet offers additional clues which help in the writer identification process. This paper then introduces an alphabet information coefficient (AIC) to better exploit such alphabet knowledge for writer identification. Our experiments showed an increase in writer identification accuracy from 66.0 to 87.0% on a database of 200 reference writers when alphabet knowledge was used. Experiments related to the reduction in dimensionality of the writer identification system are also reported. Our results show that the discriminative power of the alphabet can be used to reduce the complexity while maintaining the same level of performance for the writer identification system.