Born in London, RIchard Austin trained as a wood-engraver with Thomas Bewick. In 1788 he joined the British Letter Foundry of publisher John Bell as a punch-cutter. Influenced by Bellâ€™s enthusiasm for contemporary French types, Austin, a skillful cutter, produced a very sharply serifed letter which Stanley Morison was to call the first English modern face. the type retains some old-style characteristics and should more properly be called a late transitional. Austin went on to cut true moderns and later, in 1819, after starting a foundry of his own, he outlined the dangers of such designs being taken to extremes.
Designed by Eric Gill and released by the Monotype Corporation between 1928 and 1930, Gill Sans is based on the typeface Edward Johnston, the innovative British letterer and teacher, designed in 1916 for the signage of the London Underground. Gillâ€™s alphabet is more classical in proportion and contains his signature flared capital R and eyeglass lowercase g. With distinct roots in pen-written letters, Gill Sans is classified as a humanist sans serif, making it very legible and readable in text and display work. The condensed, bold, and display versions are excellent for packaging or posters.