Eric Gill
David R. Godine, Boston, 1988; originally published 1931, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
ISBN: 9780879237622

From the Publisher. An Essay on Typography was first published in 1931, instantly recognized as a classic, and has long been unavailable. It represents Gill at his best: opinionated, fustian, and consistently humane. It is his only major work on typography and remains indispensible for anyone interested in the art of letter forms and the presentation of graphic information. This manifesto, however, is not only about letters — their form, fit, and function — but also about man’s role in an industrial society. As Gill wrote later, it was his chief object "to describe two worlds — that of industrialism and that of the human workman — and to define their limits." His thinking about type is still provocative. Here are the seeds of modern advertising: unjustified lines, tight word and letter spacing, ample leading. Here is vintage Gill, as polemical as he is practical, as much concerned about the soul of man as the work of man; as much obsessed by the ends as by the means.

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Chris Bangle

This is super-special to me; I recently purchased old copies of this 1931 book, rewrote all of my own notes in the margins, and gave one of them to a client . . . it means so much! Poor Gill writes like a man who knows he is going down on the Titanic because his craftsman-culture is vanishing around him, but the game rules he sets out for a “humane” world are valid today. I am convinced we can save him and our sense of “humanity,” using tools that Gill never dreamed of. But first I suggest everyone read this to find out what it is we are fighting for!

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