DeLittle lettering factory signs off

Many readers will be sad to hear that DeLittle, the last printers’ wood type manufacturers in the UK (and probably the world) is to close at the end of this month.

Founded in 1888 by Robert D Delittle, the company has been in its factory in York for the past 100 years.

Delittle, a talented lettering artist, designed and hand-made the cutting stencils for many of the early alphabets, borders and ornaments. Much of the production equipment was engineered to his designs and he made mirror devices to view letters in condensed and expanded versions.

Jim Delittle, the founder’s grandson, is the factory’s sole occupier while he completes the last remaining orders. He can feel proud that his family’s product has been used to produce effective and stunning graphic design.

Thankfully, the equipment is not to be scrapped, but will find a new home in the Type Museum in Stockwell, London, which is awaiting Lottery funding.

Philip Long

Southampton Institute

Southampton SO14 0YN

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