Graphic designer Phil McNeill and industrial designer Roland Ellis met 10 years ago while working on the creative technology for a V&A exhibit. The two both happened to be avid cyclists and began pedaling around Europe together. As they rode, they struck up a conversation about door numbers and “the scarcity of well-designed and finely crafted” options.
Inspired to right that wrong, Phil and Roland spent two years developing what they describe as “typographically astute door numbers for a range or architectural periods.” They created their prototypes in Phil’s home workshop in the off hours while holding down full-time jobs. Getting every nuance right required things like building their own computer-controlled sandblasting machine to achieve the exact finish they were after.
The result is the just-launched Door Number Company. If you’re looking to give your façade an easy facelift, their digits add up. Scroll down to see examples in the wild on London doors.
“From an industrial design perspective,” Roland points out, what’s wrong with most house numbers is that they’re usually cast, which “doesn’t allow for the subtle details of the typeface to be fully celebrated, internal corners become rounded and soft, and during the polishing process the faces become uneven.” Suffice to say, that is not the case with their numbers.