San Francisco: Typographic Tourism

fabi's picture

I'm visiting San Francisco for a few days and would appreciate any recommendations for things typographic in the city: libraries, bookstores, signage, printed ephemera, amazing places to visit.
Thank you.

jim_rimmer's picture


I have been told that M&H Type in the Presideo are still open to visits from enthusiastic type people. They are a hot metal foundry, and have a long history and a great holding of foundry equipment.

Jim Rimmer

hrant's picture

A couple of great bookstores: Builders Book Source, and William Stout. The former has the distinct advantage of being in Ghirardelli Square, while the latter has two branches, only one of which (I forget which) will actually serve the typographer well.


gmh's picture

Stout Books is an amazing place all of the type stuff is downstairs. They actually closed the South Park store, Hrant (it was the smaller one with fewer type books). The other store is in North Beach, about a block from the Transamerica Pyramid. There's more info on Stout's website.

If you are looking for just interesting neighborhoods with lots of type there's always some great stuff on the streets in the Mission district. Haight Ashbury is pretty good as well.

cchs's picture

Don't forget San Francisco Center for the book:

roxie's picture

M&H Type is owned by Arion Press and they only give tours on Thursday. Best to call ahead. You should also check out Green Apple Books Arguably the best bookstore in the City. If you can make it to Berkely, then you should check out Seredipity Books by some accounts the best bookstore in the nation. Very knowledgeable about type. Enjoy your visit!

John Hudson's picture

Serendipty Books in Berkeley is very good and worth a visit, but mainly for literature. I didn't find much type stuff there on my last visit a couple of years ago. Also worth visiting in Berkeley is Moe's Books.

roxie's picture

While the printing and type section isn't huge at Seredipity, it's a great place to go to talk about type. The owner will give you a dissertation if you allow him.

Wm. Stout for hard to find type books. (Watch for meter sharks!)
Moe's for almost impossible to find type books.

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