Typographic time capsule
Here is a sneak-peek of a typographic print I’ve been working on. It’s a snapshot of Exmouth Market, a vibrant commercial street, full of independent shops, restaurants and cafés, close to me in Central London. The aim is to capture its colourful history and present day character for posterity.
Historical research was conducted over a couple of months, to uncover the location’s 400-year-old story that includes; vineyards, duck hunting, a Victorian tea garden and an atrocious graveyard now buried under the adjacent park. The print also lists over 40 of the street’s venues, in an ‘establishments of note’ section, that includes the weekly market stalls that set-up along the street.
To evoke the feel of the market, each of the illuminated capitals, spelling ‘Exmouth’, has been inspired by the rich assortment of lettering found on the street, or its story. The typography has been arranged to create a formal structure that includes the use of ornaments, pilcrows and other interesting characters.
A limited edition is being letterpressed next week in silver, turquoise and black on 300gsm Crane’s Lettra paper. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
My first blog post from March 2011. I love this monogram.
Art and Architecture Manifesto. Inside cover. Designed by Pentagram and first published in 1989.
A beautiful booklet, each page containing a large letter ‘A’ from different and obscure typefaces.
The society put the subject of collaboration on building sites between artists and architects on the political and economic agenda.
Today, Type Worship reached a surprising milestone. The blog has gained 100,000 followers on Tumblr.
It’s a surprise because although the subject of typography (& lettering) has been growing in popularity it is; let’s face it, a geeky obsession that can kill a pleasant conversation with the force of a parking ticket typed in Comic Sans.
Still, the rise in appreciation of typography and lettering continues (Read Gerry Leonidas’s thoughts on it’s future). Identifying a single cause of this is difficult but the combination of influencing factors must surely include; the growth of personal publishing, the maturity of web design, the renaissance of letterpress, films like Helvetica the movie and books like Just My Type. Universities are also emphasising typography skills within their graphic design courses, which feeds the cycle with more knowledgeable students. (I’d love to hear other views on this, in the comments). Either way, this can only be a good thing.
It’s also been almost exactly a year since Type Worship partnered with Elliot Jay Stocks’ fantastic 8 Faces magazine which I’d admired since issue #1. After a few chance meetings and a couple of excited phone calls we made it official. I hope you’ll agree that this has helped broaden the blog’s content with exclusives and more involvement from designers and illustrators in the field. There’s plenty more to come so stay tuned!
A very big thank you to everyone that has read, liked, re-blogged, tweeted, reviewed, contacted Type Worship and to Tumblr for their continued support.
Above artwork by recent contributor Mary Kate McDevitt
I Love Clerkenwell
Today is the start of Clerkenwell Design Week, named after the thriving creative district close to the centre of London. Its the UK’s leading independent design festival and features over 60 showrooms displaying work and will host presentations, workshops and product launches across a broad range of design disciplines.
Clerkenwell is also the historical home of London’s type foundries. At its height, all of the world’s major typefounders had a presence here, packed into this small vibrant area, close to the royal courts. There was even a road called ‘Type Street’, close to Caslon’s foundry and I recently discovered that there were two foundries on my street alone.
In a return to form, the district has recently seen Monotype open a satallite studio here, together with Fontsmith who named a popular typeface after the small enclave.
Clerkenwell is also home to many of London’s design agencies, furniture stores and boasts more architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet.
Above is one of my favourite designs: a typographic map of Clerkenwell. “Broadside 5” is a letterpress print by letterpress master and typographerAlan Kitching. This map now serves as an historical reminder of the changes in the area, since its printing in 1992. Exmouth Market, to the north, of the is now a buzzing strip of restaurants and independent shop and no longer home to “Oysters, Crabs and Lobsters” nor “Bric-a-brac”. There is however still a Pie & Mash shop and tattoo artist maintaining the East-end feel.
There’s nowhere else in London I’d rather be.
8 Faces Issue #6 is now available to buy.
Our latest issue features stunning de-bossed cover art by Stefan Weyer (tilt it towards the light to see the artwork in full) and interviews with Simon Walker, Dan Rhatigan, Seb Lester, Nina Stössinger, Grant Hutchinson, Mike Kus, and Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin of Process Type. In addition to that stellar line-up, we have essays from Christopher Murphy, Leo Koppelkamm, and Typekit’s Tim Brown, and an introduction by Craig Mod.
Only 2000 copies are available! Order yours now at 8Faces.com
What is 8 Faces?
If you could use just eight typefaces, which would you choose? 8 Faces is a magazine that asks this question — and many more — to eight leading designers from the fields of print, web, illustration, and of course type design itself. Eighty-eight pages of in-depth interviews, critical essays, and inspiration from the very best in the business. We pride ourselves on producing a printed magazine that you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf. Our covers are adorned with our foil-blocked silver logo and each issue is an experiment with an attention-grabbing new printing technique.
8 Faces typography magazine is out tomorrow.
Here are some more peeks of issue #6, literally hot of the press.
We’ve got some fine specimens for you — of both the typographic and human varieties! We interviewed Dan Rhatigan, Type Director at Monotype, and artist Seb Lester. We spoke to Simon Walker about designing our latest artwork print, Nina Stössinger about FF Ernestine, Grant Hutchinson about his journey through the type industry, Mike Kus about print-informed web design, and one of my all-time favourite foundries: the wonderful Process Type.
8 Designers x 8 Typefaces in 88 pages.
8 Faces – Out Wednesday.
I’ve seen the final version and it’s looking very fine.
I spent an enjoyable day yesterday re-learning how to screen print at London’s ‘Print Club’.
As a test print I decided to use some of my sketchbook letters and experiment with a few types of paper, including this lovely gold and silver.
The one-day course was very good, running through everything; preparing your artwork, making your positives, coating your screen, printing your work and finally removing your stencil. Well recommended!
8 Faces #6 is coming…
If you could only use eight typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
8 Faces Magazine poses this question (and many others) to eight leading designers from the fields of web design, print design, illustration, and of course type design itself.
If you’ve been waiting patiently for the next issue, you’ll be excited to know it goes to print next week and will be ready by the end of April.
Eighty-eight pages of in-depth interviews, critical essays, and inspiration from the very best in the business.
Printed on heavy stock with a foil-blocked cover, each issue is a true collector’s item and 8 Faces will be more at home on your bookshelf than in your magazine rack. Who said print is dead?
About: Jamie Clarke, Type Worship Editor
I’m a designer based in London and have spent many years designing high-profile websites and online campaigns. My passion for all forms of typography and lettering led me to create this blog in 2011.
I co-founded the design agency, Thin Martian (annually rated a top 100 UK design company, Design Week), which was acquired in 2013. I was previously Head of Design at Microsoft in the UK.
I have written for a number of publications including 8 Faces Magazine which sponsors the Type Worship blog. Some articles include:
I’m currently developing my own lettering projects, under the ‘Type Worship’ label, consisting of typographic posters and custom lettering artworks, all printed by hand.
Twitter, Dribble, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Behance, About.me
Type Worship is 2
This month sees Type Worship’s second birthday! Writing about type and lettering plus hunting for those design work gems has been tremendous fun. I had no idea that this blog would prove to be such an enjoyable catalyst for learning about and meeting so many incredibly talented people.
It’s been great to receive such a positive reaction from everyone, especially the community on Tumblr.
To coincide with this, CreativeBloq has published my article, 11 Killer tips for a successful Tumblr Blog, describing how Type Worship grew from a handful of followers and how to ensure your blog Tumblr stands out from the crowd.
Thank you to all those who have followed, liked, reblogged and supported. And thanks to these designers too for use of these twos:
My type of valentine’s cards
Living in London, Valentine’s reminds me of cold days, cosy evenings indoors and a little time spent looking for a card that’s just right. Always typographic in style, nothing too slushy, cute or clichéd.
This year however, I’m in sunny Bali, Indonesia, so I shan’t get my hopes up for anything too sophisticated.
Here’s a few that I liked online. While I’m not sure that my non-designer Valentine would appreciate receiving one of these geeky cards, I thought you might.
- "Happy Valentines" part of ‘My Geeky Valentine’ by Joanna Behar, New York, USA
- "I want to Kern you and I" Uncredited. I can’t find who made this awesome card so if you know please comment.
- "You are my counterpoint" part of ‘My Geeky Valentine’ by Joanna Behar, New York, USA
- "baby, you’re my Univers" Typographic Valentines Cards. Ben Bears and Adam Ding. Leeds, UK
- "PS I Love you" part of ‘My Geeky Valentine’ by Joanna Behar, New York, USA
- "XoXoXo Love Card", Gocco Japanese Screen Print, Melissa Stewart. Austin, TX, USA
- "I’m font of you" part of ‘My Geeky Valentine’ by Joanna Behar, New York, USA