Portal:London Transport/Selected biographies/9
CBE (11 February 1872 – 26 November 1944) was a British craftsman who is regarded, with Rudolf Koch, as the father of modern calligraphy, in the form of the broad edged pen as a writing tool, a particular form of calligraphy. He was born in San José, Uruguay. Johnston started teaching at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London's Southampton Row, where he influenced the typeface designer and sculptor Eric Gill. Then he moved on to the Royal College of Art and many students were inspired by his teachings. In 1912 Johnston followed Gill to Ditchling where he died in 1944.
He is most famous for designing the sans-serif Johnston typeface that was used throughout the London Underground system until it was re-designed in the 1980s, as well as the famous roundel symbol used throughout the system.
He has also been credited for reviving the art of modern penmanship and lettering single-handedly through his books and teachings. Johnston also devised the simply crafted round calligraphic handwriting style, written with a broad pen, known as the foundational hand. In 1921, students of Johnston founded the Society of Scribes & Illuminators (SSI), probably the world's foremost calligraphy society.