These Northern Types


These Northern Types is an exploration of contemporary northern identity by design studio Split. Through an exhibition and book of 16 works, the project asks what it means to be from the north – or indeed any place – in today’s globalised world.

From making possibly the world’s largest letterpress printing press, the People Powered Press (with a giant new type face cut from steel to match), and printing on life jackets used by migrants making the journey to Europe; to making inks from chip shop gravy powder and curry sauce and submitting an audacious application to trademark ‘The North’, These Northern Types is a thought-provoking and ambitious collection of works that simultaneously celebrates northern identity whilst asking probing questions about our relationship to place.

What does it mean to be from the north – or any place – in a globalised world? Where the’s muck, is the’ still brass? Do we tolerate less bullsh*t than others? Has the St George’s Cross become a symbol of racism? Is making do and mending consigned to the history books? Where’s the line between being proud of where we’re from and making others feel excluded? What are we forgetting? Who’s using our fondness for the north to their own ends? Do you want gravy on your chips? Or curry sauce?

Reflecting the history of a place where ‘stuff gets made’, the project celebrates both traditional and experimental production methods.

The final works are each accompanied by a piece of writing from a local poet, writer, journalist, academic or musician – including multi award winning poet/author Ben Myers and musician Boff Whalley – alongside contributions from members of the public. The book features a wide range of foils, finishes, paper stocks and printing techniques, brought together in a 16-part box set, housed in a beautiful die cut and black box with black foil.  

To see the final book and for where to buy, click here.

Created by Split
Supported by Leeds 2023 and
Arts Council England
Fedrigoni Papers
Young at Arts