Typographic Time Capsule: Exmouth Market Print

The final letterpress version of my print is now available, capturing the colourful history and present-day character of Exmouth Market. This vibrant little street is one of Central London’s hidden gems, packed with independent shops, restaurants, cafés and market stalls.

Researched over several months, this snapshot aims to preserve the street’s unique identity, recording each of the street’s current ‘establishments of note’ and regular market stalls. It also delves into its shady 400-year history, that includes blood sports, a disreputable Victorian tea garden and an atrocious graveyard now buried under the adjacent park.

The decorated initials, spelling ‘Exmouth’, have been inspired by the rich assortment of lettering found on the street or designed to represent its past. (you can read more about them here) The text is also full of little typographic details, such as historical and ornamental characters, which were great fun to add.

  • Letterpress in silver, turquoise and black
  • Individually signed, limited edition of 250
  • Printed on Crane’s Lettra 300gsm paper
  • Size: 660 x 464 mm (25.9" x 18.2") allowing the body text to be easily read from a couple of feet away
  • Set in Minion Pro (Robert Slimbach, 1990) and printed by Hand & Eye letterpress, London

Establishments Noted:
North side: Caravan, Gulshan Tandoori, The Exmouth Arms, Space EC1, Brill, Farringdon Locksmith & Tool Shop, G N Furniture, Gail’s Bakery, EC One, Café Kick, Bagman and Robin, Family Tree, Potato Merchant & Santoré.
South side: Paesan, East Central Cycles, The Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Big Wheel Theatre Company, The Klinik, Clerkenwell Tales, Morito, Moro, Medcalf, Clark’s Pie & Mash, EXM Hair & Beauty, Pride of Siam, Nécco, McCaul Goldsmiths, Family Business, Hummus Bros, Sweet Boulangerie & Patisserie & Book Ends.

George Harrison with pen pal Jennifer Brewer at the Sandy Bay holiday camp, Exmouth, Devon, August 1956; screen capped from Living in the Material World, and also included in The Beatles Anthology book.

Photo © Harrison Family

“[W]hen the Harrisons caught up with their friends the Brewers in again, back at the Sandy Lane holiday camp in Exmouth, George had a new obsession to share with his friend Jenny. ‘He was now mad on music. He asked if I’d heard the real one. It was Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley. I said, ‘Who?’ 'Elvis! Elvis Presley!’ He didn’t have his guitar with him, but he loved the music with a passion.’” - The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn

“In June 1968, George was filmed with Ravi Shankar in California for the movie Raga. 'It was the last time I really played sitar. I thought I am never going to be a sitar player, because I’ve seen a thousand sitar players in India who are better than I’ll ever be and, out of them, Ravi only thought one was good. Ravi was more worried for me than I was. He was trying to find my background or some roots and he was saying, 'What about Liverpool?’ and I said, 'No, I feel more at home in Benares, India than I do in Liverpool.’ Then I thought, 'What’s my root?’ The first thing that I could call a root, musically speaking, was riding down the road on my bike and hearing 'Heartbreak Hotel’ by Elvis Presley coming out of somebody’s house. On my way home (from California) I went to New York. When I checked into the hotel, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton happened to be staying there, which is another little cosmic point. From then on I thought, 'Well, maybe I am better off to get back into being a pop singer, guitar player, song writer; whatever I am supposed to be’. So it was Ravi really, who helped me get back into being a pop singer and guitar player again.” - George Harrison, quoted in The Apple Years 1968-1975