Eric Gill (1882 – 1940)

Eric Gill (Born Arthur Eric Rowton Gill) was a Brighton, England born sculptor, graphic artist, engraver, writer and type designer best known for his serene and simplistic lettering. Gill was trained in the arts at the Chichester Technical and Art School, then moved on to study architecture in London during the year 1900. Soon after a period of three years, he became annoyed with his studies and went on to pursue other ventures in calligraphy instead at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where he became strongly influenced by his teacher Edward Johnston the designer of the London Underground typeface. From then on he joined the Arts and Crafts community and began letter carving and monumental stone masonry.

His first major work which he gained great public recognition for, was his figure sculpture of the year 1912 entitled, Mother and Child. He later went on to inspire an English revival of traditional direct stone carving instead of using clay models. In the year 1914, he began carving the stations of the cross for Westminster Cathedral and later that same year he met Stanley Morison, a typographic consultant for the Monotype Corporation. Gill would eventually in the year 1925, design his first typeface called Perpetua named after his daughter, which was commissioned by Morison. The uppercase letterforms were based on Roman inscriptions and was followed closely in 1927 by his most famous typeface, Gill Sans based on the sans-serif lettering of Edward Johnston. His controversial book ‘An Essay on Typography’, was published in 1931 and featured the use of yet another typeface this one named Joanna after his other daughter.

Gill the ever restless designer moved to Buckinghamshire in 1928, where he set up a lettering workshop and printing press whilst also taking in a number of notable apprentices who included John Skelton, David Kindersley and Donald Potter.

Eric Gill Artwork


Gill Sans (1927), Eric Gill


Joanna typeface (1931), Eric Gill


Eric Gill Inspired Artwork


BBC Logo (1997), Martin Lambie-Nairn


Silent Alarm Album cover (2005)




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s