The Type Archive holds the National Typefounding Collection, purchased with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund; broadly comprising 1. the typefounding materials of the Sheffield typefounders, Stephenson Blake; 2. the hot-metal archive and plant of the Monotype Corporation; and 3. the Woodletter pattern collection and plant of Robert DeLittle.

Cast metal type, lower case m

Extended to 4 December

The Wolpe Exhibition, in partnership with The Type Archive, is a month-long exhibition to celebrate the launch of a new collection of typefaces, originally designed by Berthold Wolpe, now revived by Monotype.

At The Wolpe Exhibition, long-standing institute, The Type Archive will open its doors to the public for the very first time.

Visitors can expect a showcase of never-before-seen design work and original drawings by Berthold Wolpe set alongside a brand new typeface collection by Monotype and type designer, Toshi Omagari. Partners of the exhibition include Eye Magazine, Faber & Faber, The Sainsbury's Archive / Museum of London Docklands, and the Wolpe family.

About The Wolpe Exhibition

The Wolpe Exhibition celebrates a great designer with an outstanding body of work: Berthold Wolpe. In the 1930s, he designed several groundbreaking typefaces, most of which later faded from view. Until now. This collection of unique and distinctive typefaces, remastered by Toshi Omagari of The Monotype Studio, shines a light on these lost classics.

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Cast metal type, lower case m


a pair of printer's cases


The type case holds one font, in one point size. It is colour coded here to highlight related groups.

In green: English vowels, with easy access; in yellow : punctuation, dashes, small brackets and ligatures; in red : Capital Letters; in mauve : small capitals; in purple : some signs and symbols; in buff : p, q, b, d, u, n, which are easily confused; in blue : spacing material between words and to fill short lines. It indicates how often different letters are used in English typesetting, notably ‘e’; lower case ‘i’ frequency is misleading because the letter is so thin. Capital letters J & U came late to typesetting and were tagged on after Z.

While modern typefoundries are entirely digital ( the Type Archive's collection spans the nearly 600 year period when the foundry cut letters in steel, drove them into brass blanks, and cast lead type from them in molten lead.



Type Archive Elephant