Type Tour // Ben Waddington

Wed 17th July // 6pm // 90 mins

Meet: Stratford House, Stratford Place B12 0HT

In October 2007, my first ever commission was to lead a walk for the Plus Design Festival, looking at how type (or ‘lettering’) was used in the industrial old town. This showed how successful local enterprises branded themselves, from the largest canal carriers of the day with money to spend to small metal working sheds - with little knowledge of type design - cutting out their own signs and logos. The walk inadvertently led to a four-century history of the city being told through its letter forms. A type map was devised to record examples of lettering the walking groups encountered in Digbeth’s back streets.

Twelve years on, what has changed? Several of my favourite signs have disappeared but a new generation of pop-ups and start-ups have dropped their own character into the mix. Join us in retracing those 2007 footsteps, visiting the best (or funniest) of Digbeth’s typographical heritage before retreating to the Old Crown for rest and refreshments.


  • Comfortable footwear and weather-appropriate clothing essential.

  • Accessible route.

  • Type Tour first ran during Plus Design Festival in 2007