Eric Gill - decency in modern day type usage

onemandub's picture

Assuming that the expert typophiles here have already discussed this matter, i apologise in advance for what i have no doubt will upset more than one of the visitors to this forum.

i was recently asked to rework an outside designers input for promotional material prior to the receipt of final titles when i noticed that a bold Gill had been used (and pathetically stretched) in their "signed off" logo design. This work was for a family show across Scotland and as a borderline autistic typeface geek i rapidly recalled the somewhat shocking revelations of Gills life throughout the early to mid 90's where his extreme sexual misbehaviour was detailed. Not only was he prone to extra marital affairs (hardly unique) but also child abuse (his 2 daughters) incest (his sister) and most worryingly of all, **** (the family dog).

I chose to avoid using Gill thereafter. Am i alone in this decision?

Jonathan S.

Information taken from;

Eric Gill by Fiona MacCarthy, Faber & Faber 1989.

paragraph's picture

No wœrries.

mehallo's picture

One more snarky comment:

Introducing: Eric Gill, the wine

steve mehallo

joeclark's picture

Isn’t the “pathetic stretch[ing]” a more pressing issue?

Joe Clark

Paul Cutler's picture

If you feel strongly please stop studying art history or the history of design. It's full of deviates.

For that matter you might want to stop posting on the internet. You just never know…


bowerbird's picture

i have no puppy, but some people here have said
that they will refuse to use my software because
i do not use capital letters. i live with the pain...


leisha-17's picture

hi i know there hasnt been posts on this in quite a while, but i have to do a paper on gill as part of my contempary art discourse module in college... just wondering would anyone recommend any sites/books on gill that would contain information of his diaries?

thanks, leisha

eliason's picture

See the first post.

quadibloc's picture

Long before I heard of Eric Gill's crimes, while I liked Perpetua, I disliked Gill Sans, as I've noted. But I just realized that I didn't always like Gill Sans. I only disliked one particular way in which I often saw it used - and when used in that fashion, I found it ugly, and excessively and obtrusively "British", and so I took note of the typeface in that connection.

It was when it was used for text in ALL CAPS. And few typefaces survive that treatment well in any case.

@John Hudson:
And I wonder, what is the purpose of calling to mind Gill's sins? What do you do with these sins once you have acknowledged them? You still have to judge the work on its own merits.

To begin to answer that question, first one has to address just how seriously his crimes are to be regarded.

In my opinion, because sexual assault often causes lifelong psychological devastation to its victims, I believe it should be regarded as a form of torture, or a crime against humanity.

The merits of Gill Sans or Perpetua, such as they are, are not so absolutely stellar that I think anyone would be using them if they were Eichmann Sans or Hitler Roman.

Hitler was a failed architect, and he did produce a few paintings, after all, so why couldn't he have been a type designer?

So this isn't a question of digging around in dirty laundry, or not using a typeface because its designer ran out on some unpaid debts, or was once accused of murder under ambiguous circumstances. At least, it isn't if one agrees that sexual assault is a crime we should take very seriously indeed.

@William Berkson:
Yes, the US reelected George W. Bush--whether they elected him the first time is debatable--and they also elected Barak Obama. To focus only on one side is to miss the complexity and reality of America for the sake of a cheap shot.

I take it you are replying to someone who slammed Americans for electing G. W. Bush.

I would have my own reasons for not approving such a comment. Even so, it's hard for me to give the American people full credit for voting in Barack H. Obama.

Not because I don't like the American people. Just because of two facts.

Number 1: The stock market crashes. News reports note the possibility that this could lead to an economic catastrophe on the order of the Great Depression. And, looking at Iceland, Greece, and Portugal, it doesn't seem they were far wrong.

What did John McCain do?

He told the American people that the economy was "fundamentally sound"... basically, channeling Herbert Hoover. He also obstructed the efforts of his President, G. W. Bush, to quickly inject money into the economy to prevent a disaster until his home state got some extra gravy.

Number 2: Exit polls and other data after the election showed that a majority of America's white and non-Hispanic voters voted for McCain.

If I'm going to praise or damn the American people, it is likely to be white Americans I would be talking about - because the Americans belonging to minority groups will often see things differently than the typical ordinary American. They live in a different situation, with different challenges.

If I were so inclined, therefore, to praise Americans for their open-mindedness in electing Obama President... I'd have a problem, given that the Americans I'd be talking about actually mostly voted for the other fellow - after he just about (despite having a strong platform on the important issue of fighting terrorism) did the next best thing to conceding the election!

Because while hunting down al-Qaeda is an important issue (and Obama didn't act precipitately and pull the U.S. out of Iraq in such a way as to cause chaos and allow the terrorist forces to take control there, as might have been feared during the election campaign) a much more important and immediate issue to Americans, just like everyone else, is "Will I lose my job"?

McCain throws the election, and white Americans would still have voted him in, just by a thin margin?

I think Americans are nice people, but they're not really ready yet for a black President. Obama apparently got elected because of a "perfect storm", and no matter how great a job he does, I doubt if he will get a second term. Unless the Republicans pick a total idiot to run against him.

Unfortunately, it looks like that's exactly what they're planning to do... and she might still win.

dezcom's picture

I guess this really is the Internet.

quadibloc's picture

I know that noting that the American people may not deserve "full credit" for electing Obama is off-topic. I don't want to derail the thread, but I did think that something was said that needed a reply.

CreeDo's picture

The only offtopic thing worth reading in this thread:

"Bat Raper" would be an interesting name for a font.

In other news, I boycott Chick-Fil-A, and every day I drive by wishing I could have some. They've lost at least 500 bucks from me already.

kentlew's picture

> but I did think that something was said that needed a reply.

22 months later? Really?

quadibloc's picture

I just noticed the topic came up in a new thread. The posts were there. I didn't check the dates on them, I just read what was in the posts.

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