Typography bookshops in London?

Kottis's picture

I'm going to London next weekend and i would like to check out some bookshops while i'm there, any tips? I'm interested in books on typography and design, especially out-of-print classics. Tips on great books to pick up are also appreciated!

seml's picture

Go to Charing Cross Road. You'll find a few book shops with old titles. I bought "Printing Types", Updike, 2nd edition. Happy! Tried to find "Essay on Typography", but with no success, only the facsimile. Good fishing!

ultrasparky's picture

It would be worth checking out Collinge & Clark in Bloomsbury. They have an excellent selection of old specimens and type books. They're usually closed on weekends, but their schedule is a bit erratic, so you never know.

And it's a shame you won't be in town the following weekend, when the Ephemera Society has one of their big fairs. Those are an absolute treasure trove!

Kottis's picture

Superb, thanks a lot! i'll check those out. I'm staying until tuesday, so i'll have time to look into Collinge and Clarke too.

I read somewhere that both Foyles and Maggs have typography books, anyone know anything about them? How about Zwemmers? Foyles is pretty famous i gather, but i'm totally blank when it comes to London shops. Harrods who?

Justin_Ch's picture

Foyles are good for current publications and often have recently out-of-print titles but won't have anything especially rare. They are a very big store with well-stocked departments on most subjects, and a very nice neon sign which I think dates from the 1930s.

Maggs are a specialist antiquarian dealer.

Sadly I don't think Zwemmers have any stores left in London.

John Hudson's picture

I've been to Maggs a couple of times but have not found much type related material.

timd's picture

There is a secondhand book market outside the British Film Institute under Waterloo Bridge on the South Bank at the weekends, not particularly type based unfortunately.


Kottis's picture

Thanks again everybody, i think i've got plenty to go on here. I'm definitely checking out Collinge and Clarke, i looked it up on Wikipedia and found that it's the store from “Black Books” – which my girlfriend recently bought the entire series of on dvd. Now she's got a reason to come with me to look at musty old type books! Yay!

John Hudson's picture

Oh yes, that is the exterior of Collinge & Clarke used in the Black Books comedy series. The interior scenes, though, were shot in a studio. The real Collinge & Clarke interior is very small and cramped. But consider yourself fortunate that the booksellers have quit smoking: one used to need a gas mask when visiting the shop.

kegler's picture

Collinge & Clarke has an incredible selection of private press books and books on printing & type: The best I have seen anywhere outside of a library. Cecil Court is a small street with quite a few specialist antiquarian books shops

John Hudson's picture

I watched a bit of Black Books, and found it interesting to see how parts of the interior of the fictional shop were modelled on Collinge & Clarke but made much larger.

Just around the corner from C&C on Marchmont street is Judd Books, which is sometimes a good source for remaindered books on type.

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