Category: Typography

Pub typography in Smithfield

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Great typography on this pub in Smithfield.   At no point is a typeface used more than once.

How food built London: follow the drover’s route from the Royal Agricultural Hall to Smithfield

From the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington to Smithfield, walk the drover’s route to market. A new guided walk looks at the way in which food impacted on the design of London.  This walk, the first of three, looks at meat and water and follows the blood-smattered path from Upper Street, down St John’s Street across Cowcross Street and onto market.  To find out about the next walk, leave a comment on the contact page.

Getting to the heart of Manchester

The first day of Spring was spent staring at warehouse buildings in Manchester.  Here is ‘Labour and Wait’ a plaque on the side of one of the earliest Co-operative Movement buildings just off Balloon Street in the centre of the city. As a Co-op Bank customer who sends his cheques to number 1 Balloon Street, gazing at the place from where all of its co-operativeness comes from was quite a moving moment.

Smithfield crushed

Smithfield House is no more.  On the edge of the market, it was used by squatters for a couple of years and briefly as headquarters for the London Architecture Festival.  It is now the site for one of the entrances to Farringdon Crossrail station. This was taken on the walk led by typographer Phil Baines who pointed out how bad it was; poorly-spaced letters, a badly-cut ‘M’, an out of turn ‘S’ and lots more.  Just behind this was a mysterious tripe dresser, also mashed into the bowels of Crossrail.

Typographic glamour

This is a detail from the Port of London Authority cold store building in Smithfield.  It is an easily-overlooked example of typography in the public realm, in this case, apparently the only example in London of ceramic tiles being used to infill lettering on a building.  Look carefully and you will see that each letter is made up of hundreds of pieces of ceramic tile.  Most examples of really interesting building typography in the City appear to be out of use, left behind until a someone decides to eradicate them.  Typography is a powerful way of labelling, navigating, setting the scene, noting the tone and of making an interesting point about what is going on.  This picture was taken on a walk led by Phil Baines from Central St Martins College of Art on the typography of the City of London.  See the typography section for more.