Gill Sans

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Gill Sans
Category Sans-serif
Classification Humanist
Designer(s) Eric Gill
Foundry Monotype
Date created 1926
Date released 1928 (Monotype)
Design based on Johnston
Variations Gill Kayo

Gill Sans is a sans-serif typeface designed by Eric Gill and released by the British branch of Monotype from 1928 onwards.

The original design was created in 1926 when Douglas Cleverdon opened a bookshop in his home town of Bristol, for which Gill painted a fascia over the window in sans-serif capitals. In addition, Gill sketched an alphabet for Cleverdon as a guide for him to use for notices and announcements.

Gill developed his work into a typeface on the commission of Stanley Morison of Monotype, who hoped that it could be a competitor to the sans-serif Erbar, Futura and Kabel families, which were being launched in Germany during the latter 1920s. Gill Sans was released in 1928 by Monotype, initially as a set of titling capitals that was quickly followed by a lower-case.

Gill Sans takes inspiration from Edward Johnston's 1916 Johnston alphabet for London Underground, which Gill, by the 1920s a well-established sculptor and lettering artist, had worked on while apprenticed to Johnston. Johnston's Underground design had attracted considerable attention but as a corporate font was not available for licensing. Gill's aim was to blend the influences of Johnston, classic serif typefaces and Roman inscriptions to create a design that looked both cleanly modern and classical at the same time.

Marketed by Monotype as a design of 'classic simplicity and real beauty', it was intended as a display typeface that could be used for posters and advertisements, as well as for the text of documents that need to be clearly legible at small sizes or from a distance, such as book blurbs, timetables and price lists.[1] Designed before setting documents entirely in sans-serif text was common, its standard weight is noticeably bolder than most modern body text fonts.[2][3]

An immediate success, the year after its release the London and North Eastern Railway chose it for all its posters, timetables and publicity material, a use later extended across all British railways. It also soon became used on the modernist, deliberately simple covers of Penguin books, and was sold up to very large sizes which were often used in British posters and notices of the period. The popularity of Gill Sans influenced many other typefaces, and helped to define the genre of the humanist sans-serif.

Monotype expanded the original regular or medium weight into a large family of styles, which it continues to sell. A basic set is distributed with iOS and Mac OS X and with some Microsoft software, sometimes called Gill Sans MT.


Gill Sans is often used in an all-caps setting, as on this 1949 railway poster.
Distinctive characters of Gill Sans.

The proportions of Gill Sans stem from Roman tradition in the upper case, and traditional serif letters in the lower. This gives Gill Sans a very different feel to geometric sans-serifs like Futura and realist sans-serif typefaces like Akzidenz Grotesk, by being based on a different form principle.[4][5]

The upper-case of Gill Sans is partly modelled on monumental Roman capitals like those found on the Column of Trajan. Johnston had written that "the Roman capitals have held the supreme place among letters for readableness and beauty. They are the best forms for the grandest and most important inscriptions."[6] Some aspects of Gill Sans have a geometric feel: the O is an almost perfect circle and the capital M is based on the proportions of a square with the middle strokes meeting at the centre of that square; this was not inspired by Roman carving but is very similar to Johnston.[6][a] But the influence of traditional serif letters is clear in the 'two-story' lower-case a and g, unlike that of Futura, and the t, similar to old-style serifs in its proportion and oblique terminus of the vertical stroke.[8] The lower-case a also has a dramatic narrowing towards the top of its loop extremely rare in sans-serif fonts, but more common in serif designs. Following the humanist model the lower-case italic a becomes single story and the lower-case p has a vestigial calligraphic tail reminiscent of italics cut by Caslon in the eighteenth century.[6][9][b] The italic is nonetheless quite restrained, almost an oblique in many characters such as the 'e' with its straight line on the underside of the bowl.[6][c] Like most serif fonts (but unlike most sans-serif fonts), several weights and releases of Gill Sans use ligatures to allow its expansive letter f to join up with or avoid colliding with following letters.[9]

The basic glyph shapes do not look consistent across styles (or even in the metal type era all the sizes of the same style), especially in Extra Bold and Extra Condensed widths, while the Ultra Bold style is effectively a different design altogether and was originally marketed as such.[11] Monotype executive Dan Rhatigan, author of an article on Gill Sans's development after Gill's death, has commented that "Gill Sans grew organically ... [it] takes a very 'asystematic' approach to type. Very characteristic of when it was designed and of when it was used."[12][13] From the bold weight Gill Sans has an extremely eccentric design of 'i' and 'j' with the dots (tittles) smaller than their parent letter's stroke. (At this time the idea that sans-serif typefaces should form a consistent family, with glyph shapes as consistent as possible between all weights and sizes, had not fully developed: it was quite normal for families to vary as seemed appropriate for their weight until developments such as the groundbreaking release of Univers in 1957.[14])


Morison commissioned Gill to develop Gill Sans after they had begun to work together on Gill's serif design Perpetua from 1925 onwards. Morison is known to have visited Cleverdon's bookshop while in Bristol in 1927 where he would have seen Gill's fascia and alphabet, although this may not have been the exact point of the project's genesis.[15][16][17][18] Gill had also worked on developing some 'absolutely legible-to-the-last-degree...simple block letters' for Army and Navy Stores in 1925.[3] Gill had greatly admired Johnston's work on their Underground project, which he wrote had redeemed the sans-serif from its "nineteenth-century corruption" of extreme boldness.[6] Unlike Gill, Johnston's involvement with the printing industry was limited, and he apparently never tried to turn the alphabet (as it was then called) that he had designed into a commercial typeface project.[19]

Morison and Gill had met with some tension within Monotype while developing Perpetua and while Morison was an enthusiastic backer of the project, Monotype's engineering manager and type designer F.H. Pierpont was deeply unconvinced, commenting that he could "see nothing in this design to recommend it and much that is objectionable."[20][21][22] The titling capitals of Gill Sans were first unveiled at a printing conference in 1928.[9] While initial response was partly appreciative, it was still considered unacceptable by some ultra-conservative printers who saw all sans-serif type as modern and unsound; one called it 'typographical Bolshevism'.[3][23]

Comparison between Gill Sans and Johnston
Johnston (upper) and Gill Sans (lower), showing some of the most distinctive differences.

Extensive material on the development of Gill Sans survives through records in Monotype's Salfords archives and in Gill's papers. While the capitals (which were prepared first) resemble Johnston quite closely, the archives document Gill (and the Monotype team, who developed a final precise design and spacing) grappling with the challenge of creating a viable humanist sans-serif lower-case and an italic, which Johnston did not have.[13][d] Gill's first draft proposed many wedge cuts, such as at the top of ascenders and descenders, looking less like Johnston than the final draft did.[26] Early art for the italic looked very different, with swashes on many capitals.[6][9][13][e]

In the roman, some letters were simplified from Johnston, with diamond dots becoming round and the 'l' becoming a simple line, but the 'a' became more complex with a curving tail. In addition, the design was simply refined in general, for example by making the horizontals slightly narrower than verticals so that they do not appear unbalanced, a standard technique in font design which Johnston had not tried to do.[6][19][f] The 'R' with its widely splayed leg is Gill's preferred design, unlike that of Johnston; Mosley has suggested that this may be inspired by an Italian Renaissance carving in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[27][28] Particular areas of discussion during the design process were the 'a' (several versions and sizes in the hot metal era had a straight tail like Johnston's or a mildly curving tail) and the b, d, p and q, where some versions (and sizes, since the same weight would not be identical at every size) had stroke ends visible and others did not.[11][13][29][g] Rhatigan has commented that Monotype's archives contain "enough [material] for a book just about the b, d, p, and q of Gill Sans."[13][31]

Weights and styles[edit]

Compilation image of some of the fonts of the Gill Sans family that are mostly intended for display use.
Metal type for Gill Sans Bold (mirrored image)

Following the initial success of Gill Sans, Monotype rapidly produced a wide variety of additional designs. In addition, Monotype sold the design up to very large sizes for their 'Supercaster' type-casting equipment which allowed end-users to cast their own type at a very low price.[7][32] This made it a popular choice for posters. Gill's biographer Malcolm Yorke has described it as 'the essence of clarity for public notices'.[33]

Versions of Gill Sans exist in display, condensed, outlined (Monotype ser. 290), ultra bold (ser. 442), among others, and also Greek and Cyrillic letters.[13] An ultra-light version slightly lighter than the normal light style was also not digitally available until the 2015 Nova release.[13][34] Several shadowed designs are currently available, including a capitals-only regular shadowed design and a light-shadowed version with deep relief shadows. These can be used together with the regular, printing in different colours, to achieve a simple multicolour effect.[35] In the metal type era, a 'cameo ruled' design that placed white letters in boxes or against a stippled black background was available.[36][37][38] Some of the decorative versions may more have been designed by the Monotype office, with Gill examining, critiquing and approving the designs sent to him by post.[39] Monotype would later also create a book weight, intermediate between the light and regular weight, suitable for body text. The long series of extensions, redrawings and conversions into new formats of one of Monotype's most important designs (extending long beyond Gill's death) has left Gill Sans with a great range of alternative designs and releases.

Gill Kayo[edit]

Gill Kayo compared to Gill Sans Bold (above). Note the differences in style, clearest in the K, e and r.

In 1936, Gill and Monotype released an extremely bold design named Kayo (from knockout, implying its solidity). This has often been branded as Gill Sans Ultra Bold, though in practice many letters vary considerably from the structure of Gill Sans.[13] It is available in regular and condensed widths.[40][41][42] Gill, who thought of the design as something of a novelty, considered naming it 'Double Elefans'.[43][44] Gill's colleague Robert Harling described it as 'dismal' and sarcastically commented that "typographical historians of 2000AD (which isn't, after all, so very far away) will find this odd outburst in Mr Gill's career, and will spend much time in attempting to track down this sad psychological state of his during 1936."[45][46] It was particularly popular in graphic design of the 1970s and 80s.[47] Some initial drawings of Kayo may have been prepared by Gill's son-in-law Denis Tegetmeier.[39]

The bold weights of Gill Sans, including Kayo, are particularly controversial for design issues such as eccentric design of the 'i' and 'j', and for their extreme boldness.[2][6] (Gill Sans' standard weight is, as already noted, already quite bold by modern standards.[2]) Gill argued in his Essay on Typography that the nineteenth-century tendency to make sans-serif typefaces attention-grabbingly bold was self-defeating, since the result was compromised legibility.[48] In the closing paragraph he ruefully noted how he had contributed to the genre:

There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools. I myself am responsible for designing five different sorts of sans-serif letters - each one thicker and fatter than the last because each advertisement has to try and shout down its neighbours.[49]

Alternate characters[edit]

Alternate characters from Gill Sans Nova, most or all based on those offered in the metal type era.[50]

To cater for the tastes and national printing styles of different countries, Monotype developed a set of alternate characters. These include Futura-inspired designs of N, M, R, a, g, t and others, a Garamond-style W, an R with a tighter leg, an alternative Q with swash tail (preferred by the LNER), oblique designs as opposed to the standard true italic, a more curving, truly italic e and several alternative numeral designs.[13][50][51] In particular, in the standard designs for Gill Sans the numeral 1, upper-case i and lower-case L look identical, so an alternate 1 was sold for number-heavy situations where this could otherwise cause confusion, such as on price-lists.[2] (Not all timetables used it: for example, the L.N.E.R. preferred the simple version.[51]) Most alternate characters were not offered in any digitisation until the 2015 Nova release (see below), restoring Gill's first choices at the expense of user choice, but the alternate 1 was included in the Monotype Pro release and the alternate a and g returned in a digitised infant edition.[2] Gill was involved in the design of these alternates, and Monotype's archive preserve notes that he rethought the geometric alternates.[13] With the increasing popularity of Futura Gill Sans was not alone in being adapted: both Erbar and Dwiggins' Metro would undergo what historian Paul Shaw has called a 'Futura-ectomy' to conform to taste.[52] Monotype would later add text figures to Gill Sans, a common feature on serif fonts which Gill Sans did not originally have.[4]


Gill was commissioned to develop a typeface with the number of allographs limited to what could be used on Monotype or Linotype machines.

The typeface was loosely based on the Arabic Naskh style but lacked even the most basic understanding of Arabic script. It was rejected and never cut into type.[53][54]


Monotype offered Gill Sans on film in the phototypesetting period.[13][55]

Digital releases[edit]

A Penguin paperback from 1949 compared to digital Gill Sans semi-bold, showing subtle differences in weight and spacing.

The digital releases of Gill Sans fall into several main phases: releases before 2005 (which includes most bundled 'system' versions of Gill Sans), the 2005 Pro edition, and the 2015 Nova release which adds many alternate characters and is in part included with Windows 10. In general characteristics for common weights the designs are similar, but there are some changes: for example in the book weight the 2005 release used circular ij dots but the 2015 release uses square designs, and the 2015 release simplifies some ligatures.[11][56][57]

Like all metal type revivals, reviving Gill Sans in digital form also raises the issue of how to compensate for the ink spread that would have been seen in print at small sizes more than larger, so printed Gill Sans and its digital facsimile may not always match. The digital release of Gill Sans, like many Monotype digitisations, has been criticised, in particular for excessively tight letter-spacing and lack of optical sizes.[h] In the hot metal era the structure of the font varied by size, with wider spacing and other detail changes at smaller text sizes. In the phototype period Monotype continued to offer two or three sizes of master, but all of this subtlety was lost on transfer to digital.[11][13][55]

Former ATypI president John Berry commented that "both the regular weight and especially the light weight look much better when they're tracked loose."[59] In contrast, Walter Tracy wrote that he preferred the later spacing: "the metal version...was spaced, I suspect, as if it were a serif face".[60]

Gill Sans Nova (2015)[edit]

A massive remastering and expansion, Gill Sans Nova adds many additional variants, including some of the previously undigitised inline versions and stylistic alternates and an ultra-light weight (once an option in metal type) which had been digitised for Grazia.[11][61] The basic set of Regular, Light and Bold weights is bundled with Windows 10. The fonts differ from Gill Sans MT in their adoption of the hooked 1 as default, while the regular weight is renamed 'Medium'. Monotype celebrated the release with a London exhibition on Gill's work, as they had in 1958 to mark the general release of Gill's serif design Joanna.[62][63][64][65] One addition was italic swash caps, which had considered by Gill but never released.[11] The Pro release of 2005 had included a infant font using the 'geometric' alternates, preferred as resembling handwriting. In the Nova edition these were folded into the regular fonts as stylistic alternates.


Gill Sans on the nameplate of the LNER locomotive Mallard. Fascinated by railway engines since childhood, Gill was immensely proud of the LNER's decision to standardise on his font.[7][66]
Gill Sans on some Penguin Crime novels, with a modern reprint at bottom left

First unveiled in a single uppercase weight in 1928, Gill Sans achieved national prominence almost immediately, when it was chosen the following year to become the standard typeface for the LNER railway system, soon appearing on every facet of the company's identity, from metal locomotive nameplates and hand-painted station signage to printed restaurant car menus, timetables and advertising posters.[30][66] The LNER promoted their rebranding by offering Gill (who was fascinated with railway engines) a footplate ride on the Flying Scotsman express service; he also painted for it a signboard in the style of Gill Sans, which survives in the collection of the St Bride Library.[7][51][67]

When British Railways was created by nationalisation in 1948, Gill Sans was used in much of its printed output, very often in capitals-only settings for signage. Specially drawn variations were developed by the Railway Executive (part of the British Transport Commission) for signs in its manual for the use of signpainters painting large signs by hand. Other users included Penguin Books' iconic paperback jacket designs from 1935 and British official mapping agency Ordnance Survey.[68] It was also used by London Transport for externally printed output which could not be efficiently set in Johnston.

The BBC logo at BBC Broadcasting House, Belfast

Gill Sans remains popular, although a trend away from it towards towards neo-grotesque typefaces such as Helvetica and Univers took place around the 1950s and 1960s under the influence of continental and American design.[69][70] As an example of this, the corporate rebranding of BR as British Rail in 1965 introduced Helvetica and Univers for printed matter and the custom but very similar Rail Alphabet for signage, and also abandoned the all caps signage style with which Gill Sans is often associated.[71] An additional development which reduced Gill Sans' dominance was the arrival of phototypesetting, which allowed typefaces to be printed from photographs on film and (especially in display use - hot metal continued for some body text setting for longer) massively increased the range of typefaces that could cheaply be used. Dry transfers like Letraset had a similar effect for smaller projects; their sans-serif Compacta and Stephenson Blake's Impact exemplified the design trends of the period by choosing dense, industrial designs.[72][73][74][75] Of the period from the 1930s to 1950s, when he was growing up, historian James Mosley would later write: 'The Monotype classics dominated the typographical Britain, at any rate, they were so ubiquitous that, while their excellent quality was undeniable, it was possible to be bored by them and to begin to rebel against the bland good taste that they represented. In fact we were already aware by 1960 that they might not be around to bore us for too long. The death of metal type...seemed at last to be happening.'[76][i]

The BBC adopted the typeface as its corporate typeface in 1997 for many but not all purposes, including on its logo. Explaining the change, designer Martin Lambie-Nairn said that "by choosing a typeface that has stood the test of time, we avoid the trap of going down a modish route that might look outdated in several years' time."[78]

While extremely popular in Britain, and to a lesser extent in European printing, Gill Sans did not achieve popularity with American printers in the hot metal era, with most preferring gothic designs like Franklin Gothic and geometric designs like Futura and Monotype's own Twentieth Century.[5] Monotype's competitor Linotype was dominant in the American market at the time, which may have been a factor in this.[6][7] The shadow-effect capitals-only fonts appear in some US specimen brochures that otherwise excluded it in this period.[79][80] Gill Sans therefore particularly achieved worldwide popularity after the close of the metal type era and in the phototypesetting and digital era, when it became a system font on Macintosh computers and Microsoft Office.[81]

More recent British organisations using Gill Sans have included Railtrack (and initially its successor Network Rail) and the Church of England, which adopted Gill Sans as the typeface for the definitive Common Worship family of service books published from 2000.[82] It has been described as 'the English Helvetica' because of its great, lasting popularity in British design.[2] Notable non-British modern businesses using Gill Sans include United Colours of Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger and Saab Automobile.[83][84] British rock band Bloc Party has used Gill Sans in its logo. AT&T used it until 2006, before changing it to Clearview after feeling that it was too in keeping with market research that people found the company 'monolithic'.[85] Edward Tufte, the information design theorist, uses Gill Sans on his website and in some of his published works.[86][87]

Similar fonts[edit]

Early competitors[edit]

A British Railways sign. While the lettering is clearly based on Gill Sans, some letters such as the 'R' are very different.

An immediate competitor to Gill Sans was Granby from Stephenson Blake; it was based on Gill Sans and also Johnston.[29][88] Granby added a 'Granby Elephant' weight influenced by Gill Kayo. Another released around the same time as Gill Sans was created by the Curwen Press for their own use; named 'Curwen Sans' or 'Curwen Modern', it has many similarities to Johnston also.[89][90][91] Jan Tschichold, who would later make extensive use of Gill Sans while designing books for Penguin, created a similar design for an early phototype machine, which was at the time little-used.[92][93]

Later and digital-only designs[edit]

The category of humanist sans-serif typefaces, which Gill Sans helped to define, saw great attention during the 1980s and 1990s, especially as a reaction against the overwhelming popularity of Helvetica and Univers in the 1960s and 1970s.[29] It can be identified by a tendency to use 'double-story' as and gs in the roman and single-story as in italic, like serif fonts. Modern sans-serif designs inspired by Gill often adapt the concept by creating a design better proportioned and spaced for body text, or create a wider and more homogeneous range of weights, something easier since the arrival of the computer due to the use of multiple master or interpolation technology.[29][j] Jeremy Tankard's Bliss and Volker Küster's Today Sans are modern variations.[29][95] Rowton Sans is inspired by Gill but has a nearly upright italic, similar to that used by Gill in his serif font Joanna.[96][97] More distantly, Arthur Vanson's Chesham Sans is inspired by the British tradition of sans-serif signpainting, with many similarities to Gill's work.[98] Syntax by Hans Eduard Meier is similar in some ways. It was intended to be a more dynamic, handwriting-influenced sans-serif form.[6][99] Tschichold, whose serif font Sabon had influenced it, described it as "very easy to read, well designed: better than the related Gill Sans."[100] Its italic is, however, more of an oblique than Gill's.[4]

Font superfamilies[edit]

A logical extension of the humanist sans-serif concept is the font superfamily: a serif font and a matching humanist sans-serif with similar letterforms. Martin Majoor's FF Scala Sans is a popular example of this influenced by Gill's work, as are Charlotte Sans and Mr and Mrs Eaves, two designs based on Baskerville.[4][6][101][102][103] Indeed, Monotype themselves released Joanna Sans in 2015, as a screen-optimised sans-serif font intended to complement (but not exactly match) Gill's serif design Joanna. It is intended for use at smaller sizes than Gill Sans.[104][105]

Legal aspects[edit]

A railway timetable using Gill Sans from 1950.
Gill Sans on an LNER hotel menu, 1940
Portions of this inter-war Polish advertisement are in Gill Sans using the 'continental' alternates resembling Futura.

Because Gill died in 1940, in some parts of the world the typeface became part of the public domain in 2011. In countries where typefaces are not copyrightable (like in the US) this is not important but in other parts of the world this makes it possible to freely use the original design for any purposes, including creating digitised versions of the typeface. These may or may not have copyright protection (depending on the given country's view on creative works, and whether they consider visually exact lookalikes "creative" or not), often possessing their own copyright terms. In any case, the name "Gill Sans" remains a Monotype Corporation trademark (No. 1340167 in the US and No. 0950970 internationally, filed in 1983) and may not be used to describe any derivative font.

No complete, direct open-source Gill Sans clone has yet been released. One of the most extensive is Gillius, a derivative by the Arkandis Digital Foundry project and designer Hirwen Harendal, which includes bold, italic, condensed and condensed bold styles. It is not a pure clone, but rather partly created by modifying Bitstream Vera, and adds influences from geometric fonts particularly visible in the design of the w.[106] K22, a foundry in Quezon City operated by the designer 'Toto G', has released two Gill Sans shadowed variants as K22 EricGill Shadow (digitising the Gill Sans Shadow 338 design) and K22 EricGill Shadow Line, an inline variant, for free for 'personal, private and non-commercial purposes' and for sale for commercial use.[107][108] The companies SoftMaker and Fontsite obtained the rights to sell Gill Sans digitisations under different names, and have done so under the names 'Chantilly', 'Gibson' and others.[109][110] A direct clone of the medium weight, Sans Guilt, was released by Brussels open source design group OSP in 2011, but it contains several obvious glitches such as misaligned w and x characters.[111]



  1. ^ Mosley speculates that this may have been Gill's idea even in Johnston, since it does not resemble Johnston's calligraphy.[7]
  2. ^ A publicity writer at Hoefler & Frere-Jones wrote of Gill and Johnston's work that "Because these designs were rooted in classical form, and their designers dedicated to traditional crafts, the new style became known as the Humanist sans serif. Nonetheless, these designs were often products more of the machine than the hand, chilly and austere designs shaped by unbending rules, whose occasional moments of whimsy were so out of place as to feel volatile and disquieting."[10]
  3. ^ Morison had argued for the theory that an oblique made a better match than an italic to an upright font through offering less of a contrast to it. This contention had been a major part of the protracted and tense development of the Perpetua project, begun before Gill Sans but released second, since Monotype management scrapped the oblique for a more normal italic.
  4. ^ Some revivals of Johnston, such as a project by Berthold Wolpe, the ITC digitisation and that used by Transport for London have attempted to synthesis an italic or oblique for Johnston, but Johnston never created one.[24] P22's revival declined to add one.[25]
  5. ^ This resulted in a design somewhat similar to Goudy Sans of a few years later. The development of Johnston had gone through a similar paring-down process a decade earlier, in which the idea of incorporating many calligraphy-influenced glyphs, like a capital-form q in the lower-case, was considered then abandoned.[6]
  6. ^ Gill's biographer Malcolm Yorke has described Gill as 'tactless' in his claims that the design was 'as much as possible mathematically measurable and as little reliance as possible should be placed on the sensibility of the draughtsmen and others concerned in its machine facture', when so much of the development process was influenced by Monotype's largely anonymous but highly experienced drawing office team.[3]
  7. ^ An accessible specimen showing this is the Monotype Recorder article on the LNER timetable, which prints the sizes and weights the LNER favoured: stroke ends are visible on the 18pt medium on d, p and q, but not at 10pt.[30]
  8. ^ Monotype's early digital releases of their classic typefaces, some unlike Gill Sans never fully revisited, were widely seen as erratic: Jonathan Hoefler commented sarcastically in that "Gill Sans retired the trophy for "Worst Digital Adaptation of an Okay Foundry Type," with Bembo & Centaur close behind."[58]
  9. ^ A major part of Mosley's career in the period, indeed, was accumulating for St Bride Library metal type equipment from companies disposing of it.[77]
  10. ^ The feeling that Gill Sans' lower-case is less of a success than its capitals began early: Dwiggins called it and Futura "fine in the capitals and bum in the lower-case" while proposing to create an alternative, Metro, for Linotype around 1929.[94]


  • Carter, Sebastian. Twentieth Century Type Designers. W.W. Norton, 1995. ISBN 0-393-70199-9.
  • Johnson, Jaspert & Berry. Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Cassell & Co, 2001. ISBN 1-84188-139-2.
  • Ott, Nicolaus, Friedl Fredrich, and Stein Bernard. Typography and Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. 1998, ISBN 1-57912-023-7.


  1. ^ "Promotional Poster, 1928". Red List. Monotype. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Archer, Ben. "Eric Gill got it wrong; a re-evaluation of Gill Sans". Typotheque. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Yorke, Malcolm (2000). Eric Gill, man of flesh and spirit. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks. pp. 258–261. ISBN 978-1-86064-584-6. 
  4. ^ a b c d Majoor, Martin. "My Type Design Philosophy". Typotheque. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Tracy, Walter (January 2003). Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design. D.R. Godine. p. 87-98. ISBN 978-1-56792-240-0. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tam, Keith (2002). Calligraphic tendencies in the development of sanserif types in the twentieth century (PDF). Reading: University of Reading (MA thesis). 
  7. ^ a b c d e Mosley, James (November 10, 2015). Lecture on Gill's work (Speech). 'Me & Mr Gill' talk. Old Truman Brewery, London. 
  8. ^ Rabinowitz, Tova (1 January 2015). Exploring Typography. Cengage Learning. pp. 127–9. ISBN 978-1-305-46481-0. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Fifty Years of Typecutting" (PDF). Monotype Recorder 39 (2): 11, 21. 1950. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ideal Sans". Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Rhatigan, Dan (November 10, 2015). Lecture on the history of Gill Sans (Speech). 'Me & Mr Gill' talk. Old Truman Brewery, London. 
  12. ^ Rhatigan, Dan. "All about Workflow". Eye Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Rhatigan, Daniel (September 2014). "Gill Sans after Gill" (PDF). Forum (28): 3–7. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Budrick, Callie; Biemann, Emil (1961). "Subtleties of the Univers". Print. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  15. ^ MacCarthy, Fiona. Eric Gill. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-571-26582-4. 
  16. ^ Loxley, Simon. Type. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-85773-017-6. 
  17. ^ Paul Townsend (20 October 2009). "Douglas Cleverdon Book Publishers". Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Eric Gill" (PDF). Monotype Recorder 41 (3). 1958. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Loxley, Simon (2005). "Chapter 9: Going Underground: Edward Johnston's Letters for London". Type: the secret history of letters. London: I. B. Tauris. pp. 109–121. ISBN 978-1-84511-028-4. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  20. ^ "F.H. Pierpont". MyFonts. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  21. ^ Mosley, James (1989). "Eric Gill's Perpetua Type". In Ginger, E.M. Fine Print on Type. Lund Humphries. pp. 54–58. 
  22. ^ Mosley, James (2001). "Review: A Tally of Types". Journal of the Printing History Society. 3, new series: 63–67. [Morison] was able, sensing that sanserif types were in the air in 1927, and against Pierpont's fierce opposition, to secure in Gill Sans a best-selling design whose sales record must have compensated Monotype for many well-meaning failures. 
  23. ^ "Eric Gill & The Cockerel Press". Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "ITC Johnston". Monotype. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "P22 Underground pdf specimen". P22. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "Gill Sans working drawing". St. Bride's Library. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
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External links[edit]

Digital release:


Metal type era publicity materials:


Transport use:

Curwen Sans:


  • Railway Sans - open source digitisation. Numerous commercial digitisations also exist - see Johnston article