An Essay on Typography was first published in 1931, instantly recognized as a classic, and has long been unavailable. It represents Gill at his best opinionated, fustian, and consistently humane. It is his only major work on typography and remains indispensable for anyone interested in the art of letter forms and the presentation of graphic information.
This essay on typography is actually an essay on far more. It goes well with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, in its nostalgia for the 'humane' individual craftsman over the commerce and industry. Gill comes back, again and again, to question the proper places of mass production and handwork with respect to each other. He was an idealistic, but still realized that industry was here to stay - it could not (and still can not) simply be wished away. The real goal is "an industrialism ... [with] many noble and admirable features."
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