A typography project
for Walthamstow,
by Walthamstow.


Walthamstow has been recognised as a hub for hundreds of years and has a fascinating history of diverse trades and crafts that people from around the world introduce and develop when they settle here.


My name is Anna. I live in E17 and I am studying for a Masters in Graphic Design. I want to ask the Walthamstow community, to ask you, about your views about the typography and lettering in the area.

Lettering, basically, is symbols of our alphabets and how they are formed. Lettering is how we communicate visually with each other and share information without speaking.



Every day we see hundreds of examples of lettering in the world around us. We see door numbers, road signs, advertisements, street art, timetables. If it has letters or numbers, it is lettering.


We don’t usually pay attention to this lettering unless we need to, but every piece forms a part of or community. It tells us a story of who we are and our history.


For example, walking down Walthamstow High Street, there are lots of shop signs in English, in Polish, in Bulgarian, in Tamil. This is because Walthamstow is one of the most multi-cultural boroughs in the country, and people coming to the area are welcomed to the community. The lettering we see on the high street is reflective who we are.


Lettering goes beyond this: it is not just the language, it how they are displayed. Are the letterings big and bold? Are they in bright colours? Do the letters have loops and flourishes? What are they made out of – metal, wood, vinyl?

In this project, I would like you to take notice of the lettering in Walthamstow, E17, and tell me what you think of it. You don’t need to be an artist, or a designer, or know anything about lettering – you only need to think about what the lettering in Walthamstow means to you. Maybe some lettering feels welcoming, and others imposing. Some lettering might brighten your day, and some might annoy you.


If you’ve lived in the area for some time, what are your memories of the place and what you got up to in your free time? I’d love to hear your stories.


I am creating some workshop activities that you can do in a Covid-safe manner and on your daily exercise walks. To find out more, click on the Workshops link at the top of the website.


I look forward to seeing what you create!