Gill Sans and Joanna

Isaac's picture

I read somewhere recently that if Eric Gill had called Joanna "Gill Serif" instead he would have been the first to make a serif/sans family. I can't find it in Elements of Typographic Style, Anatomy of a Typeface, Letters of Credit, Counterpunch, or Paul Renner: The Art of Typography. I don't think I've read any other type related books I've read recently, (other than R.R. Kelly's American Wood Type, but it's not in there. Is it?) so where is it? I know this is a stretch, thinking that someone would kow the source right off the bat, but I also know that typophiles are a strange and mysterious bunch.

So, anyone... ?

hrant's picture

I don't remember ever reading that anywhere.

And really, it's not the name that makes a family; Joanna
and Gill Sans are largely unrelated designs, to me at least.


Nick Shinn's picture

>the first to make a serif/sans family

Morris Benton, Clearface, when the sans version was released in 1910.

Isaac's picture

Who's going around spreading rumors about Eric Gill? This is killing me. If I read it in a book (which I'm pretty sure I did), who would have written it and not known about Clearface? Anyway, it's not all that important, I just couldn't remember. Thanks guys.

Mark Foster's picture

My guess is you're thinking of "My Type Design Philosophy," by Martin Majoor, in which he discusses the relationship of Scala and Scala Sans.

Here is a partial quote from his article: "Had Eric Gill planned Joanna and Gill Sans as one family he would have been the first in history to design a family of serif and sans, but he made them as separate designs with separate names."

jupiterboy's picture

Bringhurst suggests Gill and Joanna together in Elements. You have to adjust the sizes to get the weights to match, and kern well.

Nick Shinn's picture

Gill Sans works well with Perpetua -- I used them for many years in a marketing newsletter. The range of the Gill Sans was very useful, especially the bold condensed, and even Ultra. Perpetua Titling was good for initials and, er, titles. I had to make a beefed-up "small" version of Perpetua for footnotes, though.

Isaac's picture

YES! Mark Foster RULES!

I guess what this means is that I don't read enough actual books and read too much from the web.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I've used them together as well. I always like to use the Ultra a a sort of small cap. I would extend it by 2%-3% and letterspace them.

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