Original: Gill Sans Serif / Designer: Eric Gill (1928)
Redesign: Eric Machat / Designer: Matyáš Machat (2016)

The aim of redrawing Gill Sans was to support its advantages as an excellent readable book grotesque. The blueprint of the “redesign” were Eric Gill’s original, proportionally more humanistic designs and Monotype’s book printing version. To keep readability good in longer and smaller texts, the lower x-height, longer ascender and descender lines, and “old-fashioned” weight contrast in between lower-case and upper-case letters have been retained. Unlike past digitisations, the lower-case diacritics have been enlarged – suggested by the Gill character set from the cases of the academy’s book printing workshops.

The typeface is now more humanistic, even in the skeleton. Bevelled terminals on rounded strokes, tops of ascenders, and several of the bars is a new feature. The flat tops of “M”, “V”, “W”, “v” and “w” are replaced with sharp tips in the basic weight. Tiny facets, essential for the typeface, have been left out. The modelling of rounded shapes is more organic and respects the calligraphic character to an extent that does not deny the monumental nature of the typeface. The bowls of “d”, “p” and “q” are free of horizontal lines and completely rounded. In some cases, characters are adopted from alternative sets of book printing versions. The small a with its thin diagonal bottom serif, deviating from the style of the typeface, is replaced with a more moderate variant more suitable for small texts. The typical “M” has also been replaced with a “more classical” spread out version. The typeface is designated for book typesetting, and it works. Thanks to the extremely bold Black, which was created more independently, the family can be used in a broad scale and novel, distinctive character. The name of the typeface refers to the fact that it is a crossbreed – it is unclear if the designer of the new typeface understood Eric Gill’s work correctly, but in any case he enjoyed working on its continuation.

  • Evolution / Original Typefaces Redesigned
  • Type and Typography studio
  • @ Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague / 2016