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Gill Sans

Eric Gill

Humanist Trains

Raillways Sans Serif

England


“

Letters are things not pictures of things

“

Eric Gill


Contents 04 05

Eric Gill

06 07

About Gill Sans

08 27

Gill Sans Family

28 33

10 11

Characteristics

12 21

Styles

22 23

Sizes

26 27

Typesetting

Usage and applications


06 07

Eric Gill (1882-1940) Gill was born in Brighton, the son of non-conformist minister. While apprenticed to an architect in London, he became smitten with the world of calligraphy, which he entered by attending classes given by Edward Johnston. He was profoundly influenced by Johnston’s dedicated approach to work and decided to join the world of the Arts and Crafts. During his lifetime he set up three self-sufficient religious communities where, surrounded by his retinue, he worked as sculptor, wood-engraver, and type designer. He also wrote constantly and prodigiously on his favourite topics: social reform; the integration of the body and spirit; the evils of industrialisation; and the importance of the working man. He converted to Catholicism in 1913 and this influenced his sculpture and writings. He designed his first typeface, Perpetua, for Stanley Morison who had badgered him for years on this matter. Of all the 11 typefaces that he designed, Gill Sans is his most famous; it is a clear modern type and became the letter of the railways - appearing on their signs, engine plates, and timetables.


Gill Sans 1928


08 09

About Gill Sans The history of Gill Sans stems from Edward Johnston’s iconic typeface, Johnston Sans, designed for the London Underground in 1913. Eric Gill, who had studied under Johnston at London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts, later became a friend and appren-

tice—and even had a small role assisting in creation of the proprietary typeface. Not completely satisfied with Johnston’s work, Gill set out to create the perfect, legible typeface.

The first notable attempt to work out the norm for plain letters was made by Mr Edward Johnston when he designed the sans-serif letter for the London Underground Railways. Some of these letters are not entirely satisfactory, especially when it is remembered that, for such a purpose, an alphabet should be as near as possible ‘fool-proof ’… as the philosophers would say —nothing should be left to the imagination of the sign-writer or enamel-plate maker. -Eric Gill, Essay on Typography, published 1931

Drawing heavily on Johnston’s work, Gill first experimented with his ‘improvements’ in 1926 when he hand-painted lettering for a bookshop sign in his hometown, Bristol. Gill also sketched a guide for the bookshop owner, Douglas Cleverdon, who later published the work in A Book of Alphabets for Douglas Cleverdon. The alphabet, which at the time only con-

tained uppercase letters, was noticed by Stanley Morison for its commercial potential. A Monotype advisor, Morison commissioned Gill to develop a complete font family to compete with the sans-serif designs released by German foundries fueled by the overwhelming success of Futura. The font was released commercially by Monotype in 1928 as Gill Sans.


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Gill Sans Family The Gill Sans complete family has 21 fonts


Gliphs and anatomy

J

FE Arms of the same lenght

Decended ‘J’

QR Calligraphic tail


Flat - bottomed ‘d’

Two story

Eyeglass ‘g’

Flat - topped ‘pq’

Slight variance in stroke weight

Sharp triangular-cut

13

a g pq r t

12

d


Gg Ss Pts 280


14 15

Gill Sans Light ABC D E F G HIJ KLM N O P Q R STUV W X Y Z a bc defg h ijk lm n o p q r s t u v w x yz 123456789 ABC DE F G H I J K L MNO PQ R STU V W X Y Z a b cdef gh ijkl m n o p qr s tuv w x y z 123456 7 8 9 Pts 8

Transport

Pts 10

Transport

Pts 12

Transport

Pts 18

Transport

Pts 24

Transport

Pts 36

Transport


Gg Ss Pts 280


16 17

Gill Sans Book ABCDE F G H I J KL M N O P QR S T UV W XY Z a bcde f gh i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 123456789 ABC D EF GH IJKL MN OP QR S T U V W X Y Z abc d efgh i j k l m n o pq r s t u v w xy z 123456 7 8 9 Pts 8

Transport

Pts 10

Transport

Pts 12

Transport

Pts 18

Transport

Pts 24

Transport

Pts 36

Transport


Gg Ss Pts 280


18 19

Gill Sans Bold ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKL MNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmno pqrstuvwx yz 123456789 Pts 8

Transport

Pts 10

Transport

Pts 12

Transport

Pts 18

Transport

Pts 24

Transport

Pts 36

Transport


Gg Ss Pts 280


20 21

Gill Sans Heavy ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 123456789 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 123456789 Pts 8

Transport

Pts 10

Transport

Pts 12

Transport

Pts 18

Transport

Pts 24

Transport

Pts 36

Transport


Gg Ss Pts 280


22

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 123456789

Pts 8

Transport

Pts 10

Transport

Pts 12

Transport

Pts 18

Transport

Pts 24

Transport

Pts 36

Transport

23

Gill Sans Ultra Bold


Pts 74

Railways Railways Railways Railways

Railways


24

Pts 74

25

TTTTT ttttt RRRRR rrrrr AAAAA aaaaa IIIII iiiii NNNNN nnnnn


Humanist Trains

Raillways England

Sans Serif


26 27

Trainstation

2&3 Platform System Services

Suburban


Typesetting Can there be a more seductive font in the realm of public transport than Gill Sans? While the response of most people when asked to think about a font used in transport will be to mention “the Underground signs” (Johnston, and latterly New Johnston on London’s Underground and other transport modes), it is Gill Sans which has had far wider use by transport operators. It possesses a chilly haughtiness and inspires fascination and devotion. It is the ice maiden of transport fonts, beautiful but hard to work with. Despite the difficulties of using it, transport operators are compelled to return it again and again.

Book 10/14 pts

Light 10/14 pts

Can there be a more seductive font in the realm of public transport than Gill Sans? While the response of most people when asked to think about a font used in transport will be to mention “the Underground signs” (Johnston, and latterly New Johnston on London’s Underground and other transport modes), it is Gill Sans which has had far wider use by transport operators. It possesses a chilly haughtiness and inspires fascination and devotion. It is the ice maiden of transport fonts, beautiful but hard to work with. Despite the difficulties of using it, transport operators are compelled to return it again and again.


28 29

Bold 10/14 pts

Can there be a more seductive font in the realm of public transport than Gill Sans? While the response of most people when asked to think about a font used in transport will be to mention “the Underground signs” (Johnston, and latterly New Johnston on London’s Underground and other transport modes), it is Gill Sans which has had far wider use by transport operators. It possesses a chilly haughtiness and inspires fascination and devotion. It is the ice maiden of transport fonts, beautiful but hard to work with. Despite the difficulties of using it, transport operators are compelled to return it again and again.

Can there be a more seductive font in the realm of public transport than Gill Sans? While the response of most people when asked to think about a font used in transport will be to mention “the Underground signs” (Johnston, and latterly New Johnston on London’s Underground and other transport modes), it is Gill Sans which has had far wider use by transport operators. It possesses a chilly haughtiness and inspires fascination and devotion. It is the ice maiden of transport fonts, beautiful but hard to work with. Despite the difficulties of using it, transport operators are compelled to return it again and again.

Heavy 10/14 pts


30 31

Usage / Applications


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The Helvetica of England Gill Sans rose to popularity in 1929 when it became the standard typeface for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), appearing on everything from locomotive nameplates to time tables. The typeface was used in 1935 by designer Edward Young on the now iconic Penguin Books jacket design, putting Gill Sans on bookshelves around the world. Many other notable companies (particularly in England) adopted Gill Sans as a corporate typeface by the mid1900’s, including the BBC, British Railways, and ultimately Monotype themselves—making the typeface Monotype’s fifth best seller of the twentieth century.


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Gill Sans today Today over two dozen Gill Sans designs are available digitally, with mainstream reach thanks to its inclusion on Mac OS X and Microsoft Office. It can be seen everywhere, used (or overused) on everything from corporate logos to movie posters—one industry that has actually embraced the unusual Ultra Bold. Meanwhile, the legendary Johnston Sans typeface became available commercially for the first time in 1997 as P22’s London Underground, licensed by the London Transport Museum. A variant called ITC Johnston was also released 1999.


Gill Sans Eric Gill

Humanistic England 1928


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If you look after

goodness and

truth,

beauty will take care of itself.


Type Specimen - Gill Sans  

Typograhy assignment 2017

Type Specimen - Gill Sans  

Typograhy assignment 2017

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