About Lost and Foundry Font Family
Breaking the cycle of homelessness
We are partnered with The House of St. Barnabas, a private members club in Soho Square, whose work as a not for profit charity aims to break the cycle of homelessness in London. Each purchase (of the family pack) comes with a one month membership to The House and 100% of the proceeds from sales of fonts go directly to the charity to help their essential work.
This unique collection of 7 typefaces is based on the disappearing signs of Soho, at risk of being lost forever due to the ever changing landscape of the area. By re-imaging the signage as complete fonts, we have rescued this rich visual history from the streets and present the typefaces into a contemporary context for a bright optimistic future.
Thanks to its humble tiled origins, this Egyptian serif type maintains a uniform character width, creating the irregular letter proportions found in the final alphabet. Broad-shouldered, the bracketed serifs firmly ground the font, whilst its extreme hairlines become a necessity due to the uniform width. Of note is the upside down ‘S’, to be found on the original sign on Berwick Street. Perhaps due to its ceramic origins, there is a surprising ‘slippiness’ to its final appearance.
Cattle & Son is best described as a wide, but not overly extended, grotesque-style sans serif, showing a uniform width and carrying a robust strength to its form. Whilst lightly functional overall, the purposeful diagonal legs of the ‘K’, ‘R’ and the tail of the ‘Q’ add an urgency to its appearance. The reduced size of the ampersand gives away Cattle & Son’s hand-painted origins, and the oblique compacted ‘LTD’ found on the original sign is also included in the final set. This beautiful sign is tucked away under an arch in Portland Mews, sheltering from the weather. Perhaps this is why it has lasted so long.
This somewhat elongated set of Roman capitals was originally rendered in paint circa 1940, but its roots trace back to the Trajan Column in Rome. Witness the slightly unbalanced ‘W’ and the painter’s hand is revealed. Century’s flared serif style is extremely short, sharp and bracketed. The ‘M’ is splayed and has no top serifs. Century has a uniform appearance of width, probably due to its sign-written origins. Yet is elegant, classic and exudes sophistication.
A true Tuscan letterform, the original is located on The House of St. Barnabas in ceramic tiles and was revealed in all its broken glory in 2014. FS Charity retains the option of using these incorrect characters (try typing lowercase in the test drive above and compare with the more uniform uppercase characters). FS Charity features fishtailed terminals on its strokes, a curious branched ‘T’ and the ‘S’ displays tear-drop ends to its serifs. Almost uniform in width, the ‘A’, ‘M’ and ‘W’ are the widest characters in this set.
The elongated Marlborough features diagonal terminals to some characters and numerals. Also retained is the space-saving contracted ‘T’ glyph from the original sign, while the ‘R’ features a distinctive wedge-shaped leg. Highly individual in this form, similar signage appears around Soho, but featuring a variety of widths in their design.
The sister type to Cattle & Son, Portland is oblique rather than italic. The serifs are not overly long, yet still enhance its rather rigid cap height and baseline appearance. Its ‘A’ has a top serif, the ‘M’ is square and the ‘G’ foregoes any spur. Particularly delightful is the open ampersand. Numerals align to encourage the horizontal flavour of the oblique style. Overall, Portland is both confident and graceful.
FS St James
A lineal Continental style, St James also displays a true sense of ‘Londoness’ in its titling form, perhaps influenced by early Underground signage. Irregular letterforms display a continental flavour, particularly evident in its Deco style ‘W’, ampersand and numerals. The rather high cross bar in the ‘A’ is also reflected in the raised middle strokes of the ‘M’. Noteworthy are the distinctive unions found on all of the characters and the additional small caps. The original lettering is still located on Greek St.
Lost and Foundry
Fontsmith is a London based type design studio founded in 1999 by Jason Smith. The studio consists of a team dedicated to designing and developing high quality typefaces for both independent release as well as bespoke fonts for international clients. Fontsmith is a London based type design studio founded in 1999 by Jason Smith. The studio consists of a team dedicated to designing and developing high quality typefaces for both independent release as well as bespoke fonts for international clients.The Premium foundry page can be viewed at: https://www.myfonts.com/a/font/premium-font-collections/fontsmith%20-