The Type Shop

Written on 3 April 2011

Type is a new shop for type geeks and design enthusiasts that celebrates type in all non-digital forms. I came across it by pure chance – it is simply not what you’d expect to find while walking along Bethnal Green Rd. in East London.

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Entering the shop, I was greeted by impressive typewriters of different styles and eras. A large heavy dark wooden table took up much of the space at the front of the shop, for people who want to sit and enjoy a hot beverage while consuming their type.

The table was designed by one of the three shop-owners who crafts one-off furniture pieces. Seated by it was Milan, one of the other shop-owners. He had just placed an old ruled sheet of paper into a typewriter and was in the process of typing the price-list for beverages sold at the shop. One by one, ink impressions were absorbed by the old paper, creating beautifully imperfect lettershapes.

Proceeding into the next room I discovered what in my eyes was the real treasure trove – a bookshelf displaying original foundry type specimen packs) with sheets of type in different point sizes. Also on display were Monotype newsletters dating as far back as the ’60s, each with a unique typographic cover design. They have all been preserved in mint condition. On another bookshelf was a selection of old books about typesetting and type design.

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After half an hour of absorption in type, I left the shop with two new type acquisitions – an original Baskerville Type Specimen and Designer’s Kit and Monotype Newsletter #89 from July 1971 with a three-tone typographic front cover and a back-cover advertising the availability of Helvetica and Helvetica Bold for Monotype and Monophoto machines.

Into type? Go there.

138 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6DG

What do you think?


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