Friday, 8 October 2010

Take a letter

Although I'm a trained graphic designer, I wouldn't need to be to notice the prevalence of old shopfront display letters in interior design these days.

Quite a nice selection is shown here (left) at the lovely TicToc Cafe, Meeting House Lane, Brighton.

I have even seen them on sale in TKMaxx, but these are reproductions in fiberglass or tin, with a distressed finish to fake age and wear. Individual salvaged letters are going for quite a lot of money in the antique shops I visit, as are pieces of printers' woodblock type and even tiny pieces of hot metal type.

I used to have a studio over a printing works and when they sold up they couldn't get a buyer for all their trays of metal type (sadly, they all went for scrap), but then I suppose they weren't trying chi-chi dealers in architectural and industrial salvage...

If you would rather see these items being put to use in print than interior decoration, you will be glad to know that there are folks out there buying up trayfuls of salvaged type and printing letterpress in their own homes and studios. Flowers & Fleurons, to name but one - I will post more on them in the near future.

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