BBC4 and BBC i-Player
9.00pm Monday 31st July
Delighted to receive notification that the one-hour documentary by Mark Ovenden will screen next week. Featuring footage from the event we held in February Johnston & Gill: Very British Types at Leicester Print Workshop, this promises to deliver more of his painstaking research into the story of these seminal British typefaces and their inter-relationship.
“A less-than-ideal typeface drawn up by an idealist.” The irony is that while Eric Gill proclaimed his beliefs more loudly than Edward Johnston, it was the protected function and specific locality of Johnston (the typeface) that saved both its aesthetic and authority in the long run. Johnston’s reticence and Gill’s bombast simply heightened the contrast between the two. Precisely because Gill Sans was destined to be a Monotype best-seller, it ultimately suffers from overexposure and bad applications – exactly the fate to befall ‘the Helvetica of England’.