Wednesday, 11:01pm
2 March 2016

Type Tuesday: Archive night with Paul Barnes

See you at St Bride Library at 7pm sharp. Nadine Chahine, David Pearson & James Mosley (among many others) at the first Type Tuesday of 2016

The next Type Tuesday event will be an Archive Night with MC Paul Barnes and guests, another evening in Eye’s quarterly series of informal events about typography, graphic design and visual culture. For this occasion, we celebrate St Bride Library itself, and its amazing collection of materials from the rich history of printing and typography.

The St Bride Foundation Institute sign.
Top: Caslon’s Italian ca. 1821.


Our guests will choose items from the St Bride archive that have a particular resonance for them – it’s like a ‘Desert Island Discs’ for graphic design. Each contributor will show the audience their selection – which could be a book, a punch, a specimen, or a photo, etc. – with the aid of a visualiser, and talk about it for five minutes or so.

Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes (Eye 75): ‘This rounded sans serif dates back to 1836, … came from the endless variations on the basic Modern forms: take a serif, make it into a slab; remove the slabs, make it a sans; condense it, make it a condensed sans; round it, make a rounded sans … and so on.


James Mosley first encountered these matrices when he took a summer job in the 1950s at the foundry of Stevens, Shanks & Sons, successors to Figgins. As the firm gradually wound up its operation in the 1960s, the physical material and various artefacts found their way to St Bride Library. These particular matrices are among the earliest of Figgins’s work, cut in the 1790s and shown in the first specimen of the foundry in 1793.


Original sketch for Gill Sans by Eric Gill. When Gill created the typeface for Monotype in the 1920s he did not produce finished drawings for production but a series of sketches, some more detailed than others. Monotype bought these in December 1955, when Mosley was still a student, he sorted them out in collaboration with Evan (Gill’s brother) as a job for Monotype. Through Mosley’s encouragement, they were donated to St Bride Library in 1976.


Later in the evening there will be general discussion of the past and present of St Bride, with contributions from Catherine Dixon, Eye editor John Walters and other guests, and some announcements about its future.

PLUS: Bar and Bookstore for bargain back issues of Eye.
Hashtag: #TypeTuesday

Participants include:

Nadine Chahine, UK Type Director and Legibility Expert, Monotype
Rathna Ramanathan, Royal College of Art
Sallie Morris, researcher on Eric Gill’s typefaces
David Pearson, graphic designer
Bob Richardson, acting librarian, St Bride
James Mosley, former librarian, St Bride
Holly Trant, former librarian, St Bride

Master of Ceremonies: Paul Barnes, typeface designer, Commercial Type.

Nadine Chahine and Rathna Ramanathan.....


Sallie Morris and James Mosley.


Paul Barnes.


The event takes place at Bridewell Hall, St Bride Library, 14 Bride Lane, London EC4Y 8EQ, UK. Please come at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

The March 2016 Type Tuesday is kindly sponsored by Commercial Type, London & New York.


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.