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Lost fonts to raise funds for London’s House of St Barnabus

Lost fonts to raise funds for London’s House of St Barnabus

The House of St Barnabas has launched a campaign selling some of the lost typefaces of Soho online as a collection of fonts, to fund its work with London’s homeless.

M&C Saatchi London and Fontsmith have created the Lost and Foundry campaign for The House of St Barnabus. They have developed seven fonts from crumbling signs around Soho, with each named according to the specific content or location relevant to them, such as Berwick, Cattle & Son and Marlborough.

house of St Barnabus fonts

The fonts

To develop the fonts M&C Saatchi London collected images of this forgotten lettering in Soho, with seven selected to be hand drawn and turned into a fully functioning font by Fontsmith. This involved adapting and extending the missing characters with it taking 3 months to digitise and a workable series of fonts.

The Charity font for example is described as:


A true Tuscan letterform, the original is located on The House of St. Barnabas in ceramic tile and was revealed in all its broken glory in 2014. Charity retains the option of using these incorrect characters allowing a lively, decorative texture to any typesetting. Charity features fishtailed terminals on its strokes, a curious branched ’T’, while the ‘S’ displays teardrop ends to its serifs. Almost uniform in width, the ‘A’, ‘M’, and ‘W’ are the widest characters in this set.

The fonts are available for purchase via the Fontsmith online shop, with all proceeds to be donated to The House of St Barnabas.

Artists and designers Morag Myerscough, Anthony Burrill, Steven Wilson, Dangerous Minds, Smile, Supermundane and I love dust have also created seven original artworks. The works will be available to buy from the House of St Barnabas at the font launch event, on Tuesday 10 July. Each artist has used a different font from the collection, and funds raised from the sale of artwork are being donated to the House.

Sandra Schembri, Chief Encouragement Officer at The House of St. Barnabas, said:

“Lost & Foundry is the culmination of a unique partnership between the House, M&C Saatchi and Fontsmith which taps into Soho’s history, creativity and originality to help us raise vital funds and support more people back into paid work.” 

Justin Tindall, Chief Creative Officer at M&C Saatchi, said:

“The House of St Barnabas plays a critical role in helping the homeless find work. Whether we like it or not, small charities need to continually innovate to raise enough funds to do their work. The House of St Barnabas is no different. When you buy the Lost & Foundry Soho collection you will not only get seven fantastic typefaces that will inject Soho into anything you create, you will also be supporting an organisation that is making a real difference to people who are rebuilding their lives.”

 Main image: inspiration for the Cattle & Son font. 


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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