Robert Green on the Changing Face of Soho

It’s safe to say that London-based type designer Robert Green is somewhat of an obsessive when it comes to his field. Wanting to start a private press of his own with a signature typeface, Green looked to the Doves Type, which unusually so in the modern age had yet to become digitalised.

Doves Type came from the Doves Press, founded in 1900 by T.J. Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker in London. Wanting to print notable works of 20th century literature, they devised the Doves Type which would go on to have great influence over future typography.

robert green doves type folk store

The partnership dissolved though, leading Cobden-Sanderson to (rather dramatically) throw the type into the River Thames, ensuring that Walker could never use it. During Green’s digital reconstruction of Doves Type, he took to the river bed of the Thames to retrieve the original metal sorts and fully revive the infamous type.

robert green walking portrait folk

As part of Folk’s Walking Portrait series, Robert Green recently took to the streets of Soho to talk about the changing face of the gritty London neighbourhood – from his childhood of searching for comic books in the 1970s, to the birth of punk, fashion and its er, slightly seedier side. Watch the short film above, and shop the latest Folk collection here.

Words by Angharad Jones. Images and film by Folk

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert