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An Essay on Typography Paperback – September 8, 2015
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Gill uses typography and printing as the vehicle for his social thoughts, and offers a good bit of advice on typography throughout. He discusses letter forms as ethetic, practical, and historical objects - especially interesting from a man who made so much typographic history himself.
I never did quite work my way through all of his social arguments, however. He seems to hold "engineers" as the opponents of art and perhaps creativity. I known that many engineers then and now lack training in esthetics and visual presentation. Anyone who's seen the Brooklyn Bridge or Eiffel Tower knows, however, that engineering is also a creative act. Gill ridiculed the practice of one worker designing a font, a second preparing it for transfer to metal, another cutting the master tools for each letter, and so on. I have to agree, the assembly line mentality is not suited to all tasks, especially when each product is as unique as a letter form. Still, among all arts, printing is perhaps the one most typified by team effort and division of labor. It would be a very rare individual who could create a text worth reading, create the font in which it is presented, set the type and run the press, and carry out all the other tasks needed to create a bound book.Read more ›
He was much concerned with the state of craftsmanship in any era of increasing mechanization. He believed that no matter how dehumanizing a modern job in a factory might be a worker would still go home and create things: “in his spare time he will make something, if only a window box flower garden.” In several places he refers to the big changes that he saw between the state of industry in 1930 and in 1936: given the enormous increase in mechanization that has happened since 1936 one can only wonder what he would think of the state of book production today.
Like many experts in book design, but unlike most modern publishers, Gill preferred a ragged right-hand edge to the page, as it allows better spacing between words than one can have with justified margins. Nearly all of the book is printed with unjustified lines, but on pages 88 and 89, in a section entitled The Procrustean bed, the lines are justified. Why this exception? Because this is where he discussed why unjustified lines were better.Read more ›
I read this the first time about 20 years ago, and then gave it away, and recently purchased another copy. I have frequently remembered what I took from Eric Gill: the idea of doing everything with the intent of doing it well, and that the frame of the picture (or the typeface of the document, or a careful paint job in a room) --the shape of the communication -- can be as important as the communication itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Eric Gill (22 February 1882 - 17 November 1940) was an English artist (sculptor, stonecutter, typeface designer, printer) and social commentator. Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by Christopher Burkhardt
Is get in, in the mind of Eric Gill, know more for him, and the world of this time.
As a type enthusiast, everything about this book made it enjoyable to read -- the form factor, Gill's distinctive typesetting, and wide-ranging subject matter. Read morePublished on December 31, 2008 by J. M. Abbett
Aunque Eric Gill es un personaje de grandes claroscuros, su trabajo como artista es impresionante. Este libro no solo toca el tema tipográfico, sino sus ideas del arte y la... Read morePublished on July 20, 2007 by Pablo Rovalo