If you happen to find yourself in San Francisco for the first time I would ignore the big red Bridge, skip all the trams, and head straight to the Letterform Archive.
Slotted in between the Design District and Potrero Hill, and housed within a building that’s attempting to be the textbook definition of nondescript, there’s a wonderful collection of type nerds, graphic designers and archivists that call themselves The Letterform Archive. They collect small wonders from some of the first written forms of communication (a cuneiform tablet that heralds a business transaction several thousand years ago) to leafs from the Gutenberg Bible.
You can visit them during the week and they’ll hold little walkthroughs of the collection where you can pick up these wonderful bits of ephemera – and so I cannot recommend them highly enough. The place isn’t just a stuffy museum for type nerds – the Archive is a workshop and a space that encourages research with your palms and fingertips.
However, today the Letterform Archive needs a new home. They’re looking for donations to help them move into a beautiful new building in the Dogpatch so they can continue their work.
Should you support them because this new building is literally next door to my office? No. Well, perhaps. The move to this new space means I hope to practically live in the Archive – soon I hope to wrap myself up with all the type specimens and old graphic design books that I so desperately need.
If they get funded and move into this new space I’ll probably end up writing a lot more about the Archive and their work – and their collection will most likely improve the quality of these newsletters. So I ask that if you enjoy these short missives in your inbox you might perhaps donate a few bucks to help them keep the lights on.
It would mean the world to me and it would keep a prominent and important part of San Francisco alive and well.