Mayfair Cinema, Brick Lane, Lodon

Mayfair Brick Lane

A lovely Modernist sans serif on a the former Mayfair Cinema on Brick Lane, London.

Location: Brick Lane, London, UK


Chetham’s Library, Manchester

Chetham's Library


A stool photographed on a recent visit to the wonderful Chetham’s Library, Manchester :

Location: Chetham’s Library, Long Millgate, Manchester M3 1SB, UK.

Militia Barracks, Lancaster


The keystone to the front doorway of the Militia Barracks shows the date of construction, along with the Lancashire Rose motif and a crown. The letters are of an unusual design: a slight, spidery, script-like form that seems out of character with the robust scale of the building.

The Barracks, located on South Road, was designed by Edmund Sharpe in 1854 in a Scottish  baronial style, and housed the First Royal Lancashire Militia. It was later used as armoury and then incorporated into Storey Bros. nearby, White Cross mill. It was converted to offices in the early 1980s.

Location: South Rd, Lancaster, UK

Yates & Jackson – former Farmer’s Arms pub, Lancaster

Yates & Jackson

Yates & Jackson

A seldom noticed example of lettering from the city of Lancaster. This stained glass window in found in theback stairwell of a pub (formally the Farmer’s Arms and now called the Penny Street Bridge) on the corner of King Street and Aldcliffe Rd. The motif is of the firm, Yates and Jackson, who were one of the town’s earliest brewers. I think it may be the last remaining example of their name/initials to be found in the city.

Location: Lancaster, UK

A Lancaster Ephemera: new publication

My growing obsession with  lettering and printed ephemera of all kinds, developed into an attempt to do some justice to the wonderful items that I was encountering –  the result, after two years of research, is my latest publication:

A Lancaster Ephemera: Printed Relics from a City of Letters considers the often forgotten histories of the city of Lancaster (UK) through a collection of printed ephemera. These neglected pieces of ‘paper flotsam’ hold details about the social, political and commercial history of Lancaster, as well as the design and artistic preoccupations of their time.

Each item in the collection is accompanied by the history behind it as well as an ongoing discussion about the typographic changes occurring during the nearly four hundred years over which they were designed and produced.

From public notices to theatre posters, Arctic expeditions, executions, trials and advertisements, this new publication gives a unique insight into the history of the city of Lancaster.

The book is printed on high quality paper, perfect bound and stitched, with a dust cover. It includes photographs of fifty examples of printed ephemera taken from the city’s archives, local business and private collections, that span over four hundred years of Lancaster’s history. Four dust cover variations are available.

For more details and to purchase online visit:

A Lancaster Ephemera

A Lancaster Ephemera A Lancaster Ephemera A Lancaster Ephemera A Lancaster Ephemera

Spiritualist Church, Lancaster

Lancaster Spiritualist Church

Lancaster Spiritualist Church on St. Bulk Road – Britten Hall (named after Emma Hardinge Britten, 1823-99). In 2007-2008, it was ear-marked for demolition as part of the ‘Centros’ development of the area, but the plans were shelved as a result of a public enquiry into the proposals. The stone-cut lettering has very fine serifs.

Location: Bulk Road, Lancaster, UK

Ghost cales, Edinburgh

EDIN ghost cales

I’ve passed this spot every a dozen times on every trip to Edinburgh and never spotted it. I never cease to love ghost lettering. I’m not entirely sure if this reds CALES, or if there are additional letters missing.

Location: Victoria Street – off Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland.