27 January 2009

If Eric Gill Used A Computer, This Would Be A Font File Called "Untitled-1"

1928.As seen on the Typophile list, it looks like some unknown, unfinished work by the great Eric Gill has come to light:

In September 1935 Gill drew for Monotype a stressed sans-serif type with many prophetic qualities: it looked forward to Hermann Zapf's 'serifless roman' Optima of nearly a quarter of a century later. Although it was given a series number (430), and a few trial sorts were cut, it was never issued to the trade.
— Sebastian Carter, Twentieth Century Type Designers

A clipping from one of the sites talking about it can be seen here on the right.

It's quite a beautiful thing that does indeed anticipate Optima (seen at left), an exercise in subtly-classic design accomplished by the equally-great Hermann Zapf. It has the same visual aspect, the same subtle softness in the curves of the design while retaining clarity.

Though another avid type blogger found working drawings in the Monotype archives, the sorts were never actually ever made. It was given a name of Series 480.

Nothing else to say about this except that it's understated and quite gently poetic.

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