MacDonald Gill

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Leslie MacDonald Gill (6 October 1884 – 14 January 1947), commonly known as MacDonald Gill or Max Gill, was a noted early-twentieth-century British graphic designer, cartographer, artist and architect.


1943 map of New Zealand by MacDonald Gill

Born in Brighton, Gill was the younger brother of Eric Gill, one of the leading figures of the Arts and Crafts movement.[1][2]

In 1914 his "Wonderground Map", commissioned by Frank Pick, and hung at every station, helped to promote the London Underground by presenting an accurate map which also had a humorous side in cartoon style. Produced in poster form, it was also made available for sale to members of the public and proved to be very popular. Elder brother Eric, who at that time was engaged in a commission for Westminster Cathedral, was included at the bottom of the map.[3] Gill showed three works at the first annual exhibition of the newly formed Society of Graphic Art in 1921.[citation needed]

He was the designer of the standard upper-case lettering used on headstones and war memorials by the Imperial War Graves Commission.[4] But it is perhaps his illustrated maps for which he is most well known. These maps have featured in a series of exhibitions including Magnificent Maps exhibition in 2010 at the British Library, an exhibition, MacDonald Gill, Out of the Shadows, in 2011 at the University of Brighton and at the Mind the Map exhibition in 2012 at the London Transport Museum.[1]



  1. ^ a b Walker, Caroline M. "About MacDonald Gill". MacDonald Gill. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Maev (22 August 2013). "Designer MacDonald 'Max' Gill's work to be shown at PM Gallery and House". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  3. ^ Kirby, Emma Jane (10 January 2014). "The map that saved the London Underground". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  4. ^ Stamp, Gavin (2006). The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. London: Profile Books. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-86197-811-0.
  5. ^ Steven, Rachael. "Out Of The Shadows: MacDonald Gill". Creative Review (archived). Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2018.

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