In a campaign developed by M&C Saatchi London and Fontsmith, the House of St Barnabas is today launching Lost and Foundry, a collection of fonts based on historic typefaces of Soho establishments, the sale of which will fund House of St Barnabas’ work with London’s homeless communities.
The fonts developed out of a process of picture research, and were drawn by designers at Fontsmith. Each one is named per its specific context – _Berwick_ after the street, Century after Twentieth Century House, and Cattle after a ghost sign for R. N. Cattle and Son – and while the new typefaces of Lost and Foundry are digitised, they retain some of the qualities of the original forms; the “slippiness” of ceramic tiles, idiosyncrasies of hand-painted signage, and irregularities for the sake of style and space.
Of the series, Jason Smith, Fontsmith’s founder and creative director, says: ““I once heard a radio DJ saying to look up when you walk around London. That’s exactly what we did for this project. In Soho, you see this mix of architecture and lettering, plaques, neon, and an abundance of weathered signs. We’ve restored these with the aim of raising awareness of the House of St Barnabas, and with the hope that the creative community of Soho and beyond purchases the fonts with this worthwhile charity in mind.”
Alongside the fonts, a series of original works by artists and designers working with type have been commissioned, including pieces by Anthony Burrill, Morag Myerscough and Supermundane. The artworks will be available for purchase at the font launch event on Tuesday 10th July, and the fonts are available via the Fontsmith online shop, with all proceeds to be donated to the House of St Barnabas. Of the project, Sandra Schembri, Chief Encouragement Officer at the House of St Barnabas, says: “_Lost & Foundry_ is the culmination of a unique partnership between the House, M&C Saatchi and Fontsmith, which taps into Soho’s history, creativity and originality to help us raise vital funds and support more people back into paid work.”
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