Underground: 100 Years of Edward Johnston’s Lettering for London

From the craft community of a Sussex village, two men were commissioned to create new lettering for London with “the bold simplicity of the authentic lettering of the finest periods and yet belonging unmistakeably to the 20th century”. The two men were Eric Gill, a letter cutter and relief carver, and his teacher Edward Johnston, a calligrapher who made his own quill pens and was inspired by a medieval manuscript by a 16th century Venetian scribe.

With major loans from the V&A, London Transport Museum, Craft Study Centre, Monotype, private collections and Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft’s own permanent collection, this exhibition examines how the friendship between Gill and Johnston led to a typeface which survived unchanged until the 1980s and is still seen across London to this day.



Our open submission Interrobang, an international showcase of letterpress print is now open. The Interrobang exhibition will be curated by Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft for The Village of Type, part of Brighton Festival, with a new publication by Random Spectacular.

The Village of Type marks 100 years since Edward Johnston created a typeface for London Underground while living amongst a community of artists and craftsmen in Ditchling, just a few miles over the Downs from Brighton. The season will mark the importance and continuing legacy of this iconic typeface through four exhibitions, a programme of workshops, lectures, residencies, events and live-printing activities in Ditchling, Brighton, London and beyond. Brighton Festival attracts over 40,000 visitors a year and you can be part of this programme.

Interrobang will be a selling exhibition showcasing the best of international letterpress from around the world selected by a panel including graphic designer Anthony Burrill. The exhibition will be free to visit and will take place in the beautiful former studios of painter Sir Frank Brangwyn; it will be promoted as part of The Village of Type programme, Brighton Festival programme and the Artists’ Open House trail. Accompanying the exhibition, the design collective and publishers Random Spectacular will produce a new publication examining letterpress from around the world drawn from this Call for Artists.

Get involved on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Spread the word, tell your friends, and enter your work to be part of INTERROBANG!