J. Atkinson & Co., Lancaster: Shop Frontage

J. Atkinson Shop

As the details on the previous post about J. Atkinson & Co. shows, this iconic Lancaster company has ben trading in the city since 1837. With a wealth of historical details found in their shops and cafes, and the current owners desire to combine the best of the history they inherited together with a modern take on the design approach of the business, I could do half a dozen posts on all the interesting details surround them – and may well do in time.

For the present, here is a shot of the front of the shop. Amongst the interesting details are the unusual blocky lettering above the window – the ampersand is particularly nice and almost certainly unique to J. Atkinson & Co.. Ian Steel, the owner informs me that they are made of copper. Ian also designed the lettering decals on the window given the Atkinson name. As he explained, he synthesised the J. Atkinson & Co. script from an original invoice that had a serif version of the phrase ‘Tea & Coffee Specialists’, combining it with the sans serif strapline ‘The Grasshopper only eats the finest of leaves’, which has more than a nod to the 1930’s. The decals used to apply them to the window give ‘something of the feel of the art of the sign maker!’

Image kindly provided by Ian Steel of J. Atkinson.

Location: China Street, Lancaster, UK

Published by fastfootpress

Fast Foot Press is a small, independent publishing and design house based in Lancaster in the North of England. We research, design and publish a range of unique printed publications that are indicative of our passion for the interesting, obscure and beautiful. Our aim is to produce items of value, interest and beauty: to devise printed works that fascinate and inspire.

4 thoughts on “J. Atkinson & Co., Lancaster: Shop Frontage

    1. Not only do they do wonderful coffee, but they are lovely people who genuinely appreciate what they have acquired. It’s obvious how much they love what they do and the heritage of the place. It’s been a delight to work with them. There will be a piece about them in a publication I’m hoping to have out in print in a couple of months.


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