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.

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