Disadvantages to using Gill Sans in Wayfinding

Bites of Life's picture

Do you think that the disadvantage of Gill Sans is the length of the descenders and extra leading needs to be specified? I´m thinking to use it to design the Ruskin Gallery´s wayfinding.

Thanks for any possible feedback

Miss Tiffany's picture

Laura, you might re-write your topic to say something more like: Disadvantages to using Gill Sans in wayfinding?

One disadvantage would be how over-used it is, especially in England and especially in museums in England. :^/ But that might be neither here nor there in comparison to real disadvantages seen by others.

russellm's picture

As to your immediate concern about long descenders & leading, the default setting leaves plenty of room.


Bites of Life's picture

Thank you Miss Tiffany,
My English is terrible and it is a challenge for me to write in such as blog. I´m taking an intensive English course over the summer! Then, I will be able to write proper English, I hope.

I completely agree with your comments. Another optional font I am thinking to use is Edward Johnston´s P22 Underground; he designed it to be used in London Underground. Do you think that it would be wrong to use it?

Thank you once again

Bites of Life's picture

It is for a student project and I cann´t afford to buy the type though i´ve mention Bliss and Arrival on my research development.

The Gallery shows Fine Art and Illustration work. Colours are not specify though the university plays with white and dark blue. However, I consider that Ruskin Gallery should be independent and have its own identity.

Well, as you can see. They use New Gothic Font. The Wayfinding for Ruskin Gallery is just...really bad. The whole university started as "School of Art" in 1858 but, just recently has changed its name to Anglia Ruskin University.

This is one of the reasons for what I thought to give it a more personal look to the signage would be appropiate it.

At the moment, I´m trying to simplify this idea, make it more contemporary but with a hint of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Thanks for your time :)

timd's picture

More Gill disadvantages, the numeral 1, lowercase l and uppercase I are very similar, if you are struck by Gill you might choose the Alt One version; the weights are hugely different it almost needs a semi-weight in between each.


Bald Condensed's picture

There are intermediary weights, but those have to be purchased separately.

Bites of Life's picture

Thanks, I´ve decided to use Edward Johnston´s P22 Underground. It gives a very elegant touch to the Gallery and the History behind it. As well, I´m thinking to use some of the texts extracted from socialist writers in the early 19 c.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Laura, the forums are a tad slow so if you hit "post comment" just once it will usually post. ;^)

It is understandable that as a student you can't afford to license a lot of type. But I do hope you have licensed the weight of P22 Underground that you are using.

If you put the mark in a box you are creating constraints that will only cause you problems later. The box you've used really doesn't "fit" the shape of the mark even so it ends up just feeling like a random box. Additionally, because you are doing wayfinding you'll find that some shapes are already forced upon you in the shape of the signs so you'll need to be as flexible as possible.

You might benefit from looking at the work from Pentagram.


Bites of Life's picture

Hi Miss Tiffany,
Thanks for linking my posts :)
I feel really lucky for your support.

Together with another mate interested in P22 Underground we have bought the typeface.

I love the links that you have sent me.

The signage proyect has finished at the moment and I have handed in all my work. I wasn´t 100% happy with the results as my time management has not been really great! I spent a lot of time in a Graphic Installation as well as in a Live proyect. Now, I´m trying to get a placement during summer time.

Kind regards,
A bite of life

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