This lens is about Gill Sans, the most well known of the typefaces designed by Eric Gill. With its classical proportions, clean lines and high legibility, Gill Sans was an immediate success when it was created in 1928, and remains a firm favourite today. You may recognise it from the BBC logo."Lettering is a precise art and strictly subject to tradition. The New Art notion that you can make letters whatever shapes you like, is as foolish as the notion, if anyone has such a notion, that you can make houses any shape you like. You can't, unless you live all by yourself on a desert island." - Eric Gill.
Gill Sans was created in 1928 by the English sculptor, sign painter, type designer and wannabe social reformer Eric Gill. After a short stint as an apprentice to an architect, Gill attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, where he studied lettering under calligrapher Edward Johnston. In 1914, Gill met the typographer Stanley Morison, and began working for the Monotype Corporation - an independent English company based in Surrey. After reviving several classical type styles to serve as the foundation of the new Monotype typeface library, Morison wanted to develop a modern face that could compete with the popular and successful new sans serif fonts, such as Futura. Morison saw lettering by Gill that used many of the same letterforms as Edward Johnston's signage typeface, used for the London Underground system. It struck Morison that a typeface based on this alphabet would be highly marketable. Thus, Eric Gill was given the job of creating Gill Sans.