Design work often involves moving individual letters by fractions of a millimetre to get a word to sit right in a title or paragraph. It’s something older designers do. Whether it happens so much to people who only know a digital environment I’m not sure (although a two page feature in a recent Mac magazine about why the TV titling to Foyle’s War looked ‘wrong’ suggests it does!).

wakefield canal barge wakefield canal barge near Hepworth Gallerynear Hepworth Gallery

Equally I also cannot help but notice quirky lettering, as seen on this hatchway cover on a barge in Wakefield’s canal basin. Whoever proudly stencilled the short history of the vessel had obviously lost the number 5. Rather than do it by hand, he or she just flipped the number two stencil over and used that instead.  That the sign is now visible to all the arty types who cross the canal on their way to the super new Hepworth Gallery means it will probably get snapped by a disproportionate number of sharp eyed designers. That’s if they can find the place; the signage is so low-key as to be invisible even from the designated car-park.  Maybe they should borrow the stencil set….


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